Penguins notebook: Scuderi back to bolster Pens' blue line
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rob Scuderi's return provided the Penguins a different look Sunday night.
They dressed two top-four defensemen against Columbus at Nationwide Arena. That had not happened in the previous seven games.
Scuderi, who was paired with Robert Bortuzzo against the Blue Jackets, missed 29 consecutive games because of a broken ankle that required surgery. He was injured Oct. 26.
Scuderi replaced Simon Despres in the lineup. A healthy scratch, Despres played in 15 consecutive games, recording four assists and a plus-2 rating in those contests.
The Penguins still have played only four periods — out of 41 games — with each of their top-four defensemen in the lineup. That group consists of Scuderi, Brooks Orpik, who Sunday night played in a second consecutive game after missing eight in a row with a concussion, Paul Martin and Kris Letang. Martin (tibia) has not resumed skating since he was injured Nov. 25.
The Penguins have played the past 16 games with at least two top-four defensemen out of the lineup.
Free range for Letang
Letang no longer is wearing an apparatus designed to limit his arm mobility, coach Dan Bylsma said Sunday.
Letang missed an eighth consecutive game — 17th overall — Sunday.
He underwent a medical procedure to disinfect an elbow wound in mid-December. His arm was wrapped in protective casing to limit mobility so the wound could heal.
Letang is not with the Penguins on their three-game road trip, but he has skated twice on his own in Pittsburgh, Bylsma said.
The Penguins have not identified a date for Letang's return, though Bylsma has said it would happen “sometime” after the NHL's three-day Christmas break.
Letang's arm became infected within hours after a win over New Jersey on Dec. 13.
A Norris Trophy (top defenseman) finalist last season, Letang missed the Penguins' first nine games because of a sprained right knee.
Center Evgeni Malkin reiterated Sunday that he hopes to participate fully in a practice Monday in Newark, N.J.
Malkin (left leg) has missed seven consecutive games and is awaiting contact clearance from Penguins physicians.
He accompanied the Penguins on this road trip with the expectation of playing Tuesday at New Jersey. Malkin was injured upon crashing backward into the end-zone boards in the Penguins' win at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 14.
Malkin was tied for fifth in the NHL with 41 points before games Sunday. He has played nine fewer games than league leader and fellow Penguins center Sidney Crosby.
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 not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
- Sutter: Staal effect felt on 3rd line with Penguins
- Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
- At Carnegie Mellon University, hockey analytics enjoys rebirth
- Reliving the moment a decade ago that shifted the Penguins' history