Kris Letang

Letang to return tonight in T-Bay


The Pittsburgh Penguins will get their top defenseman back tonight when they face the Lightning in Tampa Bay (on NBCSN).

Kris Letang will return to the lineup, coach Dan Bylsma confirmed today.

Letang has missed six games with a broken toe that he suffered March 26 versus Montreal.

The 25-year-old has 28 points in 28 games, third in the NHL among d-men behind the Canadiens’ PK Subban (32 points) and the Wild’s Ryan Suter (29).

Even with Letang back, Pittsburgh still has major injury concerns, with forwards Sidney Crosby (broken jaw) and James Neal (concussion), plus defenseman Paul Martin (wrist surgery), remaining out of action.

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.