Author: Cam Tucker

Kris Letang, Steve Downie, Rob Scuderi

Report: Penguins’ Letang (concussion) is done for the season


The Pittsburgh Penguins, now fighting for their playoff lives, will be without defenseman Kris Letang for the remainder of the season, according to a report that surfaced Friday evening.

From Dejan Kovacevic of DK on Pittsburgh Sports:

Kris Letang will not play again for the Penguins this season, “even if we make a deep run in the playoffs,” general manager Jim Rutherford told after tonight’s game at Consol Energy Center.

And from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

If the Penguins earn a playoff spot, it is “not likely” defenseman Kris Letang will play, general manager Jim Rutherford said.

Letang has been out since March 28 because of a concussion that occurred after a hit into the boards by Arizona’s Shane Doan.

“Based on his present condition,” Rutherford said, “it’s not likely he’d return this year.”

On March 28, Letang was hospitalized after taking a hit from Arizona Coyotes veteran forward Shane Doan and diagnosed with a concussion.

Related: (Video) PHT Extra: What’s ailing the Pittsburgh Penguins

Connor McDavid sweepstakes update: Sabres clinch last place


The Buffalo Sabres have a difficult choice to make: Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel?

The Sabres locked up last place in the NHL’s overall standings thanks to a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, a result that guarantees Buffalo has the best chance, 20 per cent, at landing the first overall pick in the draft when the lottery takes place.

Just a little reminder on how McDavid and Eichel, the top prospects heading into the draft, are doing these days:

McDavid had five goals (five goals!) for the Erie Otters in a 7-3 victory against the London Knights on Friday. He now has 10 goals and 18 points in seven post-season games this year.

On Friday, Eichel became the first freshman since Paul Kariya in 1993 to win the Hobey Baker award.

And now that the Sabres have locked up last place, they also have a chance to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins from playoff contention on the final day of the regular season.

Penguins lose to Islanders, fail to clinch playoff spot


The Pittsburgh Penguins will play for their playoff lives in their regular season finale against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

A win in any fashion over the New York Islanders on Friday, and the Penguins would’ve clinched a post-season berth. Instead, on home ice, Pittsburgh fell by a final score of 3-1, failing for now to lock up a spot in the Stanley Cup tournament.

According to the NHL, the Islanders will now face the Washington Capitals in the opening round of the playoffs. It will be the seventh post-season meeting between the two clubs.

The Penguins held the edge in shots over the Islanders, but minus a goal from an unlikely source in Rob Scuderi, they were unable to beat Jaroslav Halak.

An early turning point came before the midway point of the first period. Pittsburgh thought it scored to take the lead, only the video review was inconclusive and the call of no-goal on the ice stood. Eight seconds later, the Islanders opened the scoring on a short-handed goal from Casey Cizikas.

Halak made 37 saves for the win. John Tavares, with his 37th goal of the season, scored the winner less than three minutes into the third period.

Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic left the game with an undisclosed injury and did not return.

There are now three teams fighting for the final two playoff spots in the East. All three teams are in action — on the road — Saturday.

The Penguins still hold the final Wild Card spot in the East, with 96 points. They’re on the road to face the Sabres.

Trailing the Penguins by a single point are the Boston Bruins, who conclude their regular season on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Ottawa Senators, at 97 points, hold the first Wild Card spot and will play the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sharks’ Larry Robinson: ‘When you don’t make the playoffs, it means you’re not good enough’

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Larry Robinson’s final game behind the bench will come Saturday, when the San Jose Sharks play the L.A. Kings in a battle between two California rivals that won’t qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

With plenty of questions surrounding the current coaching staff in San Jose, Robinson, an associate coach on that staff who will move into a player development/consultant role while living in Florida next season, offered his take on the job Todd McLellan has done and what went wrong this season.

“He’s a great man. Todd’s a great man, he does a great job. I’ve never seen a coaching staff work harder, and put in more hours and prepare a team as well as this group does,” Robinson told the San Jose Mercury News.

“But sometimes it’s just not the hard work, it also comes down to your personnel. It’s just a case of, we’re a good team but, can we compete with the Anaheims and the Chicago Blackhawks? We’ve proven that that we can on any given night. But can we do it over a long series? I don’t know.

“We’ve had problems scoring at times, we’ve had bigger problems defending at times. So obviously, when you don’t make the playoffs, it means you’re not good enough.”

Islanders’ Hamonic leaves game with undisclosed injury

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The New York Islanders are down to five defensemen for the remainder of Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Travis Hamonic, 24, left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury and will not return, the Islanders stated via Twitter before the start of the second period.

Hamonic was on the receiving end of a hit along the boards from Rob Scuderi, and slowly made his way back to the bench and off the ice in obvious pain.

In 70 games this season, Hamonic has five goals and 33 points for the Islanders. He also logs big minutes on the blue line, leading the Islanders in ice time at 22:01 per game, according to

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