Olli Maatta hasn’t played an NHL game in almost two months, but that will change today against the New York Rangers.
Out since the middle of February following hand surgery, Maatta will return to the Penguins lineup for the regular season finale, which is good news for the defending champions after the developments from earlier this week when they learned that their top blue liner Kris Letang is gone four-to-six months after neck surgery.
The Penguins and Rangers are both off to the playoffs. Today’s result has no impact at all in the standings. Pittsburgh is locked into second in the Metropolitan Division, while New York will finish as the first wild card team.
Given all the injuries they’ve dealt with this season, it’s hardly a surprise that the Penguins are also sitting Sidney Crosby, the league’s leading goal scorer with 44 — four better than Auston Matthews and Nikita Kucherov for the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.