Penguins notebook: Letang questionable for game vs. Senators
The Penguins, with little to play for Monday against the Senators and injuries mounting, will play without a number of big names in Ottawa.
Sidney Crosby (jaw), Evgeni Malkin (shoulder), James Neal (concussion) and Paul Martin (hand) all skated before their teammates during Sunday's practice at Southpointe. Coach Dan Bylsma said all the players are “progressing.”
They may be joined in street clothes Monday by star defenseman Kris Letang, whose illness prohibited him from practicing with his teammates.
“He is a question mark,” Bylsma said. Malkin not only skated before practice but also skated with the team during its workout.
Still, he did not make the trip to Ottawa. Neal, meanwhile, worked out with teammates for the first time since sustaining a concussion on April 5 against the New York Rangers. Neither Neal nor Crosby made the trip to Ottawa.
“Part of their rehab will be skating here,” Bylsma said of Pittsburgh.
• Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, presumed out for the season after having his Achilles tendon injured by Penguins left wing Matt Cooke's skate, could return for the Senators tonight. The Senators' organization has expressed rage toward Cooke since the incident. This is the first time the Penguins have played Ottawa since the injury took place on Feb. 13. Perhaps in a move to protect Cooke, the Penguins recently recalled enforcer Steve MacIntyre.
• Bylsma acknowledged that the Penguins have begun scouting the three teams they could face in the first round of the playoffs. Mathematically, the Penguins could still face the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Washington or Toronto in the first round. The two New York teams and Ottawa appear the most likely first-round opponent for the Penguins.
• A victory over the Senators would give Bylsma his 200th career win faster than any coach in NHL history.
— Josh Yohe