Letang, Michalek leave Penguins for evaluation
The Penguins were without defensemen Kris Letang (broken nose) and Zbynek Michalek (undisclosed injury) on Tuesday night. Each player will be re-evaluated Wednesday in Pittsburgh for precautionary reasons, coach Dan Bylsma said after a 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Replacing Letang and Michalek in the lineup were defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Alexandre Picard, each recalled in the afternoon from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Bortuzzo and Picard worked as a defense pairing against the Rangers.
> > Right winger James Neal was fined $2,500 by the NHL for high-sticking Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban on Saturday night. The incident happened in the third period and a minor penalty was assessed to Neal, even though Subban's slew-footing of him appeared to cause Neal to lose control of the stick. Neal received the maximum fine allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. Fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
> > The Staal family received some welcome news, as Rangers defenseman Marc Staal has resumed skating at the club's practice facility. Website ESPNNewYork.com first reported this development. Staal, the brother of Penguins center Jordan, has not played this season because of a concussion that stems from a hit delivered by his other brother, Carolina's Eric, on Feb. 22.
> > Penguins centers Sidney Crosby (fourth), Evgeni Malkin (11th) and Staal (24th) rank high in the voting among Eastern Conference forwards for the 2012 All-Star Game. Neal is 14th. Letang is second among conference defenseman, and Marc-Andre Fleury is also second among goalies. Crosby, who played in only his fifth game of the season last night, picked up 132,335 votes last week. He is only 2,592 votes behind third-place forward Jason Spezza of the host-city Ottawa Senators.
> > Left winger Steve MacIntyre was placed on injured reserve prior to the game against the Rangers.