The Pittsburgh Pengiuns announced that defenceman Kris Letang is out for Thursday’s game with the New York Islanders with a lower-body injury. Head coach Mike Sullivan told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Matt Vensel that Letang likely won’t play Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Kris Letang is out tonight. Coach Mike Sullivan isn’t sure about Saturday.
— Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) November 7, 2019
Kris Letang Injured
The Montreal native left in the third period of Monday’s game against the Boston Bruins after suffering a lower-body injury. There’s no exact moment of when the injury happened, but the 32-year-old left the bench and didn’t return.
Letang has scored four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 15 games to go along with four penalty minutes. His possession numbers are 58.1 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 7.8.
The three-time Stanley Cup champion has only played for the Penguins in his 14-year NHL career. He has 116 goals and 389 assists for 505 career points in 762 career games. Pittsburgh originally drafted him in the third round, 62nd overall of the 2005 NHL Draft. He’s also played in five All-Star games.
Sullivan said that they’ll see if Letang can play Saturday, but it seems to be unlikely at this point. Letang did not participate in Thursday’s morning skate.
What This Means for the Future
Losing the veteran defenceman is a big blow to a team trying to keep pace with the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. The Isles have won 10 straight games and defied expectations so far this season.
Letang’s loss could mean that John Marino might get some top-pair minutes with Brian Dumoulin. Sullivan will also have to rearrange his bottom pair to see who will play with Jack Johnson. Juuso Riikola could draw into the lineup or Chad Ruhwedel might appear for the first time this season.
The Penguins also will miss Letang on the power play. Pittsburgh has gone 0-for-20 and Letang plays a big part in the man-up unit.
PITTSBURGH, PA – DECEMBER 12: Pittsburgh Penguins Defenceman Kris Letang (58) skates during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Arizona Coyotes on December 12, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Penguins shutout the Coyotes 7-0. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)