Share This Page

Engelland, Letang back on the ice

The Penguins could again be without three of their top six defensemen when they host the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins today at Consol Energy Center.

But there are encouraging signs that the blue line will be at full strength soon.

Defensemen Deryk Engelland and Kris Letang participated in practice Saturday at Southpointe. Neither is likely to play today, but their presence is encouraging.

"I felt pretty good today," Engelland said. "I wanted to push it a little harder than I did yesterday. No problems yet. We'll see how it feels tonight and (this morning)."

Engelland acknowledged that the Penguins' upcoming schedule likely will dictate when he returns. He hasn't played since scoring March 3 at Colorado; after today, the Penguins don't play until Thursday.

"Yeah, I'm definitely still day-to-day," Engelland said. "I don't know. That three days off could be huge. It could heal completely."

Engelland has not disclosed the nature of his lower-body injury but said he has improved.

"The strength got a lot better over the last four to five days, so I've just got to try and battle out there and push it to full motion and stuff and see how it feels," he said. "That was the longest practice I've had in a long time -- I think an hour and a half out there. It was good, a good skate out there with (Letang). We push each other out there."

Letang last played Feb. 29 when a hit to the head from Dallas' Eric Nystrom left him woozy, although the Penguins have yet to say he suffered a concussion. He reported headaches for a few days following the hit and has missed the past four games. During his absence, the Penguins' power play is 0 for 14.

Letang skated with the team because no other ice was available. Although he hasn't absorbed rough contact, that he's skating with the team at all is a positive sign.

Defenseman Paul Martin missed practice with an illness and is questionable for today.

Note: Center Sidney Crosby skated on a line with reserves Eric Tangradi and Dustin Jeffrey.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.