Defenseman Bortuzzo called up by Penguins
LOS ANGELES — It wouldn't exactly represent a Hollywood script — no one likes gaining playing time because of injuries — but Robert Bortuzzo, one of the highly regarded defensemen in the Penguins' system, could make his NHL debut Saturday night in Los Angeles.
The Penguins summoned Bortuzzo to Southern California on Friday, thanks to another injury on the blue line.
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy is out indefinitely after breaking his wrist against San Jose on Thursday night. The Penguins already are without defensemen Zbynek Michalek (finger) and Brian Strait (wrist).
Center Evgeni Malkin, left wing Matt Cooke and defensemen Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Matt Niskanen did not practice Friday. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma called it a "maintenance day" for them, but he also said one of them likely won't play against the Kings.
He wouldn't say who.
Given that Bortuzzo was recalled a day after defenseman Alexandre Picard was called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, it's likely Letang, Martin or Niskanen will be unable to play Saturday night.
Bortuzzo is a plus-44 in 156 career AHL games. He missed all of training camp and most of October after injuring his knee during the Penguins' rookie tournament in Oshawa, Ontario, in September.
> > Center Sidney Crosby and right wing Tyler Kennedy, both coming off concussions, practiced Friday. Kennedy hasn't been cleared for contact. Crosby already announced he would not play on this road trip.
> > Center Jordan Staal, who has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, practiced. He is questionable for tonight's game against the Kings.
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