Kris Letang

Letang’s five assists help the Pens past the Jets


Despite missing both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins had no trouble offensively.

Defenseman Kris Letang assisted on all five goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-3.

With the win, the Penguins swept the season series. Pittsburgh won the only other meeting 4-3 in a shootout on Nov. 6.

Letang missed the Penguins final game prior to the All-Star break due to a concussion.

“The main thing is the win,” said Letang. “I think the last time we played against them, they banged us pretty hard. They were finishing all of their checks, and again that’s what they tried to do. They tried to be physical on us and get us off our game, but everybody stuck to it.”

Nick Spaling opened the scoring with his seventh of the season.

Chris Thorburn and Jacob Trouba gave Winnipeg a 2-1 lead in the second period.

Steve Downie tied it 2-2 with five seconds remaining in the middle frame; however, Adam Lowry restored the Jets’ lead 59 seconds into the third.

Pittsburgh took over in the third scoring three unanswered.

David Perron and Brandon Sutter had power play goals for the Penguins.

Patric Hornqvist added an empty netter.

With the loss the Jets saw their five-game win streak end. The Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise has now lost 14 straight in Pittsburgh.

Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended eight games for his hit on Letang


The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Zac Rinaldo eight games for his hit on Kris Letang.

He will lose $73,170.72 in salary during the suspension.

Rinaldo received a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for his hit during the first period of the Flyers’ 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 20.

Rinaldo waived his right to an in-person heading and had a phone hearing on Monday.

The 24-year-old is considered a repeat offender.

He was suspended four games last season for his hit on Sabres’ defenseman Chad Ruhwedel.

Rinaldo received a two-game suspension for dangerous hit on Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson in February 2012.

Letang, who is believed to have suffered a concussion as a result of the Rinaldo hit, practiced Monday and could be an option for the Penguins Tuesday when they play host to the Winnipeg Jets.

Rinaldo is eligible to return to the Flyers’ lineup on Feb. 17 when Philadelphia plays host to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Malkin on IR, Crosby misses skate, Letang practices (Updated)

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were both absent for the All-Star Game due to lower-body injuries. Now that the regular season is set to resume, the question is how much more time will they miss.

Malkin has been placed on the injured reserve list, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari, although that might be primarily a paper move. It’s likely retroactive Jan. 20, which means that he’s still eligible to play on Wednesday against Washington (NBCSN, 8:00 p.m. ET). With that in mind, the bigger news might be that he didn’t practice Monday.

Crosby wasn’t on the ice either, although that was anticipated. He’s not eligible to play Tuesday after skipping the All-Star festivities, but he’s also a possibility for Wednesday’s contest.

In contrast to the star duo, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was able to take part in Monday’s practice. It’s believed that he sustained a concussion due to a hit from Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo. The Flyers forward had a hearing today, but the NHL hasn’t announced the verdict yet.

Update: Letang hopes to play Tuesday, but Penguins coach Mike Johnston cautioned that he hasn’t received medical clearance yet, per the team’s Twitter feed. Johnston also doesn’t think Malkin will skate for a few days.

Video: Toews, Kane lead Blackhawks over shorthanded Pens


Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored in the shootout helping the Chicago Blackhawks edge the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Wednesday night.

David Rundblad and Marian Hossa got the Blackhawks out to 2-0 lead.

Zach Sill’s first career goal and Steve Downie’s eighth of the season helped the Penguins even the score at 2-2 after 40 minutes.

Pittsburgh was without defenseman Kris Letang and center Evgeni Malkin due to injuries.

The Penguins head into the all star break without a win in four straight games.

Corey Crawford improved to 18-10-2 with a 33 save performance.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots in the loss.

The two teams will meet again next month in Chicago.

Report: Letang (concussion/neck) out indefinitely


Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang reportedly suffered a concussion on a hit from Flyers’ forward Zac Rinaldo.

Hockey insider Darren Dreger says Letang showed symptoms of a concussion Tuesday night and had a stiff neck on Wednesday morning.

Letang still skated in an optional practice Wednesday morning, but did not play against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 27-year-old has a history of concussion issues. According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, Letang is out indefinitely.

Evgeni Malkin, who also missed the Penguins 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks, is expected to miss this weekend’s all star game with an undisclosed injury according to Shannon.

The Pittsburg Penguins have five days off before retuning to action Jan. 27 against the Winnipeg Jets.