Depleted Penguins defense welcomes prospect Bortuzzo
LOS ANGELES -- The Penguins are running out of defensemen, and the organization thinks highly of prospect Robert Bortuzzo.
Put those two realities together, and it's easy to understand why Bortuzzo was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as an insurance policy before the Penguins took on the Kings at Staples Center.
"He was certainly strong in his efforts last year with what he's done in the American Hockey League," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
That the Penguins were willing to play Bortuzzo in his first NHL game says something of the team's trust in the 22-year-old native of Thunder Bay, Ontario. After all, Bortuzzo missed all of training camp with a knee injury and has only played in two AHL games this season, returning to game action earlier this week.
Still, the Penguins weren't afraid to throw Bortuzzo into the fire.
"He's going to be a really good defenseman at this level," said defenseman Deryk Engelland, who played the 2009-10 season with Bortuzzo in Wilkes-Barre. "He's big, and when he gets some experience, you'll see how good he can be."
Bortuzzo was recalled because of a fear that defenseman Paul Martin would be unable to play against the Kings. Martin did not practice Friday in San Jose and did not participate in the team's morning skate.
Kennedy skates again
Right wing Tyler Kennedy, who still has not been cleared for contact following the concussion he sustained in October, again skated with the Penguins. Kennedy last played Oct. 15 in a game against Buffalo.
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who suffered a broken wrist against the Sharks on Thursday in San Jose, remained with the team in Los Angeles. He will be evaluated when he returns to Pittsburgh. No time-frame has been given for his recovery.
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 GM Rutherford: Malkin’s play belies fact he missed training camp
- Penguins notebook: After slow start, penalty kill on upswing
- Penguins’ defenseman Maatta confident of full recovery
- Penguins assistant coach Tocchet wants Letang to shoot more on power play
- Penguins veteran defenseman Scuderi’s game looking up
- Fleury, Penguins too much for Kings
- Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade
- Starkey: Hockey hypocrites, unite
- Penguins notebook: Bennett close to returning
- Penguins notebook: Team celebrates ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ event
- Penguins assistant coach Tocchet marvels at Maatta’s demeanor