Penguins notebook: Martin's injury opens door for Eaton
MONTREAL - The absence of one steady defender from the Penguins' lineup opened the door for another Saturday in Montreal.
Defenseman Paul Martin, who is enjoying a revival after two disappointing seasons with the Penguins, was unable to play because of what coach Dan Bylsma called a "lower-body injury."
Bylsma labeled Martin's injury as day to day and did not discount the possibility that he could play Monday against Tampa Bay.
"I don't know what the probability is," Bylsma said. "But he's day to day."
With Martin out, the Penguins opted to use Mark Eaton - who hadn't played an NHL game since April 3, 2012 - in his place.
Unsigned last summer, Eaton accepted an offer to play for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL. After participating in six games at the AHL level, Eaton was invited to Pittsburgh on a tryout.
He practiced with the Penguins for five days before receiving a one-year deal.
The veteran, who was paired with defenseman Kris Letang during the Penguins' 2009 Stanley Cup run, was appreciative of the opportunity.
"I have a lot of different emotions," Eaton said before the game. "I'm excited. I'm nervous. It's been a while since I played in an NHL game. But it's a great thing."
The Penguins, in need of steady defensive work following leaky performances during the past week, welcomed Eaton into the lineup.
"He's a steady defender," Bylsma said. "Not a physical guy but a good positional guy. He's solid. That's who he is."
Eaton started Saturday's game playing with defenseman Matt Niskanen.
"I've played against him before so I have an idea of what he can do," Niskanen said. "He's a steady guy back there. I think we'll be fine."
Center Evgeni Malkin still has not experienced any setbacks following a concussion Feb. 22 against the Florida Panthers.
Malkin skated Wednesday and Thursday at Southpointe. He worked out away from the ice Friday and Saturday.
Bylsma said Malkin would have skated Saturday but ice wasn't available in the Pittsburgh area.
Despres back in lineup
Bylsma decided to scratch rookie defenseman Robert Bortuzzo instead of Simon Despres for a third straight game.
The Penguins are 11-4-0 with Despres in the lineup. He has been a minus player only one time this season. Despres has produced two goals and five points in 15 games. He is a plus-6.
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 notebook: Maatta making strides at practice
- Penguins centermen enjoying better faceoff success rate this season
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- Penguins’ Perron returning to form
- Penguins notebook: Players prepared for tough schedule in minors
- Starkey: Farewell to NHL fighting
- Penguins 4th line is showing promise