Niskanen doesn't return after lower-body injury
OTTAWA - Matt Niskanen, one of the Penguins' steadiest defensemen, didn't play the final two periods of the 2-1 shootout victory against Ottawa on Sunday because of an unspecified lower-body injury that appeared to be his knee.
He went knee-first - and hard - into the boards late in the first period after a trip by Ottawa's Milan Michalek. No penalty was called.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma offered no specifics on the nature or severity of the injury, saying only that Niskanen would be re-evaluated Monday in Pittsburgh.
• Tanner Glass, the Penguins' third-line left winger, stayed in the lineup against Ottawa despite an apparent injury to his left shoulder area. Glass was hurt sliding hard into the boards Wednesday in Winnipeg, but he returned and finished that game, then participated in the optional morning skate Sunday. Despite that, Bylsma called Glass "a game-time decision" just two hours before faceoff against the Senators. The team has not described the nature of Glass' injury. Had Glass not played, Dustin Jeffrey would have been Bylsma's choice to replace him. Because Glass stayed in the lineup, the Penguins still have not lost a man-game to injury. Last season they had 355.
• There were no other lineup changes, including defenseman Simon Despres being scratched a second consecutive game in favor of Ben Lovejoy. Lovejoy hopes to find a way to stick with Deryk Engelland, his on-and-off partner of six years. "I think we've learned a lot about each other, and we've got a lot of experiences," Lovejoy said.
• The Senators were without right winger Daniel Alfredsson because of an illness. Alfredsson, 40, isn't the star he once was, but he has 62 points in as many career meetings with the Penguins.
• One of Bylsma's points of emphasis throughout the two-game trip that ended Sunday was tightening up the breakout. "Our focus is all five guys working it out of the zone, and that means all the way out," Bylsma said. "It's about nothing other than all five doing it together. We've missed on that at times, and it's something we'll continue to work on in practice and in games."
• It's not clear how the Penguins will break down their goaltending for the coming week, but early precedent suggests Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun will keep seeing action. Fleury reiterated he has no issue with that, saying of Vokoun, "I'm happy to have him here. He's been a great guy, a big help, giving me some tips, and I appreciate that. He's a guy who's been around for a long time, and it's been really good so far."
• Wherever the Penguins go, they are being asked about the epic fights of Glass and Engelland in the first two games. "We've got a new rule around here," right winger Matt Cooke said. "Minimum two minutes on all fights."
• The Penguins will have Monday off, Bylsma announced hours after the game Sunday. The team originally had been scheduled to practice.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Starkey: Penguins not mortgaging future
- Penguins GM Rutherford not counting on Dupuis’ return
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
- Rangers up ante in Metropolitan Division with trade acquisitions
- Penguins notebook: ‘Skill practice’ part of optional workout
- Power play shines in Penguins’ home victory over Blue Jackets
- Penguins eye move for former center Staal
- Trade for Winnik gives Penguins competition among bottom six
- Baby Penguins notebook: Goalie Murray on historic run of success
- Penguins notebook: Pouliot dazzles in victory over Blue Jackets