Olli Matta was on the ice during the Penguins’ morning skate on Saturday. Maatta, who’s been out since he left Game 2 against Washington, is improving, but he’s still not ready to return, per head coach Mike Sullivan.
As you probably remember, Maatta was forced from Game 2 because of a late hit by Caps defenseman (and former teammate) Brooks Orpik (top). Orpik received a three-game suspension from the Department of Player Safety for the incident.
It appears as though Maatta is getting closer to a return. He wore a regular practice jersey on Saturday, as opposed to the non-contact one he wore on Friday.
The Pens haven’t missed a beat without him. They’ve come away with victories in Games 2, 3 and 4. One more win would allow the Penguins to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final.
As expected, Mike Sullivan didn’t want to give any hints when it came to his lineup ahead of Game 5. The only thing we know for sure is that Kris Letang is back after serving his one-game suspension and Maatta is out. The rest of the players are game-time decisions, per the Pens head coach.