news 1 week ago

Kris Letang injury update: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman out week-to-week

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury, the team announced Friday. The injury was sustained in the third period of Monday's 6-4 loss in Boston.

Letang missed the Penguins' overtime win against the New York Islanders on Thursday and will miss the battle with Chicago on Saturday. While the cause of the injury remains unclear, Pittsburgh will be forced to compete without the 14-year defenseman.

"Obviously, we'd like to have him back as quickly as we can, but that's where he's at right now," head coach Mike Sullivan said, via NHL.com. "We'll take each week as it comes, and I'll update as we go."

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Letang is the Penguins' franchise leader in goals and points by a defenseman and is currently third on the team in points this season with 12 (four goals, eight assists). The 32-year-old blueliner has only played a complete 82-game season once in his career (2010-11).

Prior to his injury, Letang was on pace for a 22-goal, 66-point season in 2019-20, registering four goals and 12 points in 15 games. In 65 games last season, he finished with 16 goals and 56 points.

Pittsburgh has had its share of injuries this year, with Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, Bryan Rust and Nick Bjugstad having all missed time this season. With Letang now added to the list, rookie John Marino is slotted to fill the veteran's spot on the first pairing with Brian Dumoulin.

A major part of the Pens' power play, Letang will be missed on the blue line, especially considering the woes they already have on the man advantage. The team has gone 0-for-22 in the last 10 games, currently 25th in the league at just over 13 percent. However, the penalty kill ranks fourth at 86.8 percent.