Already dealing with injuries to key defensemen Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff, the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t have Evgeni Malkin in their lineup against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.
Malkin, with 70 points in 65 games, was a late scratch to the lineup. It was revealed after the game, which Pittsburgh lost 4-1, that the star forward is day-to-day with what head coach Mike Johnston called a “slight injury.”
Vincent Lecavalier scored for the first time in 27 games to tie the game late in the first period. Brayden Schenn scored twice, including the winner in the second period and a power play goal 49 seconds into the third period. The Penguins had surrendered the lead and the Flyers had taken control.
With five games remaining in their schedule, there has to be concern for a slumping Pittsburgh team that is also dealing with injuries on the blue line to Kris Letang (concussion) and Christian Ehrhoff (upper-body), and has won only three times in the last 10 games following Wednesday’s result.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will be decidedly undermanned when they take on the Flyers on Rivalry Night, as Evgeni Malkin was a late scratch from the contest due to an undisclosed injury.
Pittsburgh, who came into tonight’s contest without the services of Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff (along with Pascal Dupuis and Olli Maatta, who were previously ruled out for the year), were down to just five defensemen and 13 forwards prior to the Malkin injury, and will now roll with 12 skaters up front.
More, from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
So Penguins down to 5 D and 12 F; 17 players. If they’re in same spot next came, they’re allowed to make emergency recall (con’t)
The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without defenseman Kris Letang when they entertain the San Jose Sharks tonight. Letang suffered a concussion in Saturday’s win over the Arizona Coyotes.
David Perron will return to the Penguins lineup after missing Saturday’s game due to illness.
San Jose enters tonight’s game looking for a third straight win. The Sharks are seven points out of a wild card seed in the Western Conference. Meanwhile the Penguins entered Sunday’s action in the second spot in the Metropolitan Division.
San Jose won the only meeting between the two clubs 2-1 in a shootout on March 9.
Puck drop tonight is at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on NBCSN, or catch it live online using NBCSports.com’s Live Extra.
Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan didn’t receive a penalty for his hit on Penguins defenseman Kris Letang late in the second period of Saturday’s game and the NHL Department of Player Safety doesn’t intend to issue any supplement discipline either, per Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan.
You can view the incident below:
While the hit wasn’t high and the concussion was instead the result of the awkward position Letang was in and the subsequent fall, some argued that the check was late. That’s not how the NHL sees it though.
“After reviewing the play carefully and from all angles, we have determined that this was an unfortunate result from a hockey play. It is not boarding, it is not charging, he doesn’t hit him in the head. He finishes his check by shoving Letang and unfortunately he falls awkwardly,” a member of Player Safety told Morgan. “It wasn’t really even a violent hit, although resulted in an unfortunate injury.”
Letang was hospitalized as a result of the hit and has a concussion. With Christian Ehrhoff (upper body) also sidelined, the Penguins will be dressing just five defensemen for the time being.
For his part, Doan said, “We have to finish our checks on him. I didn’t mean to hit him in that… you know hit him to stop him from jumping by. You never ever want to see a guy like that, especially of his caliber. Obviously everything that he’s went through the last couple years, you never want to see that so you feel awful as a player when something like that happens.”