Penguins Kris Letang Injured
#Pens HCMS: Letang has an upper-body injury. Will not play tonight
— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) March 25, 2019
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan made the announcement Monday after the teams morning skate. This is the second upper-body injury in just about a month for the star defenceman. He previously missed 11 games associated with the injury.
Letangs previous upper-body injury occurred during the Stadium Series game against the Philadelphia Flyers. He engaged in a scuffle with Flyers defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere, who landed on top of Letang. Letang hit the ice hard and was missing from the following chunk of games.
After making his return to the Penguins bench on the 19th, he’s competed in just two of the teams tilts before sustaining this upper-body injury. The exact cause of the damage is unknown.
In 63 games this season, Letang has netted 16 goals and 40 assists for 56 points. Over his 745 game career, he’s tallied 112 goals and 381 assists for 493 total points.
The Pens are also without defenceman Olli Maatta. Despite joining the team for practice last week, he is not an option as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury. He has not dressed for a game since February 11th.
What This Means for the Future
Letang is a cornerstone for Pittsburgh’s defence. He averages 25:56 minutes of ice time a night, so his absence is a massive blow to the Pens. After losing him to the previous injury, the Pens shuffled their defensive group around and managed to go 7-2-2.
With Letang out, Zach Trotman figures to slot back into the lineup. He will pair up with Brian Dumoulin. He’s also been utilized on the Penguins second power-play unit alongside Marcus Pettersson. Trotman owns one point in 11 games this season after being recalled from the AHL in February.
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