Penguins notebook: Letang, Niskanen close to returning
The Penguins defensive core is closer to getting healthy.
Although defensemen Kris Letang (lower-body injury) and Matt Niskanen (ankle injury) are unlikely to play Wednesday at Consol Energy Center against the Ottawa Senators, both are moving nearer to returning.
Letang and Niskanen made it through Tuesday's practice unscathed. Both defensemen also skated Monday while the rest of the team rested.
“It felt pretty good,” Letang said. “It was the first time I've practiced with the team (since the injury), so I had a chance to battle in the corner. I stayed later to do extra. It felt pretty good.”
Letang confirmed that he suffered the injury Feb. 3 in Washington. He played two nights later against the Islanders but has missed the previous three games.
Coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday's practice was “pretty stressful on a lower-body injury, and he did pretty well.”
Letang did not rule out playing against the Senators but said he wouldn't be sure of his status until Wednesday morning. His injury did not feel good Sunday but significantly improved in 48 hours.
“We'll talk right now and tomorrow morning (with doctors) after the morning skate,” Letang said.
Niskanen has been dealing with an ankle injury since Jan. 26. He has missed 17 days after being projected to miss 14 to 28 days.
Niskanen doesn't seem likely to play against the Senators but is progressing. He made it clear that he won't return to the lineup until he feels 100 percent.
“It doesn't do any good to come back and be hobbling around out there,” he said. “I don't want to be a liability.”
• While practicing their power play with a two-man advantage, the Penguins added a new wrinkle. Right wing Tyler Kennedy played in the left circle on the top unit. Kennedy has struggled this season, scoring one goal and one assist in 13 games. He hasn't had a goal in 11 games.
• The Penguins practiced for more than an hour at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday after enjoying a day off Monday.
— Josh Yohe
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.
- Penguins’ Maatta tests positive for mumps; Bortuzzo, Greiss negative
- Penguins defenseman Letang having best season in new system
- Fleury’s career-best 6th shutout lifts Penguins over Avalanche in overtime
- Penguins star Crosby talks about his experience with mumps
- With 3 more players possibly affected, Pens’ mumps fight escalates
- Penguins notebook: Players back team doctors in mumps aftermath
- Penguins continue to thrive, despite spate of ailments
- Penguins notebook: Zatkoff returns to team as Fleury’s backup