Letang has surgery on infected elbow
Defenseman Kris Letang had surgery last week to treat an elbow infection, and the Penguins expect him to return after the NHL's three-day Christmas break.
Letang has not been placed on the long-term injured reserve list, which would force him to miss at least 10 games and 24 days.
Letang had a medical procedure to clean an open wound that appeared after the Penguins won at home against New Jersey on Dec. 13. He participated in pregame warm-ups at Detroit the next day but was a late-decision scratch.
Letang did not have the surgery to repair a bone break or displacement or ligament damage. He had the procedure only to treat an infection in the wound. Temporary casting is in place to prevent arm movement that could reopen the wound.
Letang missed a fifth consecutive game Saturday, a 4-3 win by the Penguins over Calgary at Consol Energy Center. He missed the Penguins' opening nine games because of a strained right knee.
The Penguins are playing without each of their top-four defensemen: Letang, Rob Scuderi (ankle), Paul Martin (tibia) and Brooks Orpik (concussion).
Scuderi is expected to rejoin the lineup when the Penguins play Dec. 27 at Carolina. Martin has not resumed skating, and there is no timetable for Orpik's return.