Penguins’ Kris Letang ‘week-to-week’ with lower-body injury
There is no definite timetable for Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang’s return from the lower-body injury he suffered Tuesday in Boston, but it will be at least a week.
Coach Mike Sullivan said Letang’s status is “week-to-week,” which is not a downgrade in the team’s eyes from what was previously diagnosed.
“We didn’t really give (reporters) a status (at the outset of the injury),” Sullivan said. “He was continuing to be evaluated.
“Obviously, we would like to have him back as quickly as we can. We’ll take each week as it comes, and I’ll update as we go.”
Letang has four goals and eight assists in 15 games. In his absence, rookie John Marino was paired with Brian Dumoulin on Friday in practice.
Maatta back at PPG
Sidney Crosby has known Olli Maatta since the former Penguins defenseman was 19-years-old.
But always as a teammate, never as an opponent.
That changes Saturday when the Penguins meet Maatta and his Chicago Blackhawks teammates at PPG Paints Arena. Maatta was traded to the Blackhawks for forward Dominik Kahun and a fifth-round draft choice in the offseason.
“It will be a little weird,” Crosby said. “When you play with a guy for that long (six seasons), everyone knows each other’s tendencies so there shouldn’t be any surprises there.
“He’s a hard guy to play against. He doesn’t give you much room out there. He has a long stick.”
Maatta has four assists in 15 games with the Blackhawks, and Kahun has three goals and four assists in 15 games for the Penguins.
Military veterans honored
Madeline Malizio was one of 10 military veterans honored by the team after practice Friday. She was pleased just to get one of the Penguins replica jerseys and an invitation to Saturday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks at PPG Paints Arena.
But Crosby had something else in mind for the single mom from Pittsburgh who is studying at CCAC to become a paralegal.
“We were walking, and he was just telling me how he heard about my story and he wanted to do something to help my situation,” he said. “I was confused. I couldn’t think what he could be talking about.”
It turns out Crosby gave Malizio, who didn’t have her own transportation until Friday, a 2019 Honda Passport. It’s the vehicle Crosby won as MVP at last season’s NHL All-Star Game.
“Sidney Crosby got me a car,” she said. “I felt weak in my knees. I felt speechless. I really don’t think there’s a word to describe how you feel in that moment.
“I guess he believed in me. This lifted a tremendous weight off my shoulders.”
Malizio served almost five years as a U.S. Army Specialist. She was injured in air assault drills at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Others from the Veterans Leadership Program who were honored include Army Specialist Tony Canzonieri, USMC Corporal Naseem Choudhry, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Patti Gerhauser and Michael Martin, Coast Guard Petty Officers and sisters Elaine and Nanette Jergons, Navy Lieutenant Amy Knight, Army Sergeant Summer Leahey and Air Force Tech Sergeant Nicole McAfoose.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .