The hits just keep on coming to Pittsburgh’s blueline. Already missing Kris Letang (neck) and Justin Schultz (upper body), the Penguins lost Chad Ruhwedel in Game Four against the Senators last night. Following the game, head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters, including Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that Ruhwedel has been diagnosed with a concussion and will re-evaluated later today.
Ruhwedel has played in six games so far in the playoffs in a third pairing role after seeing action in 34 games during the regular season. If Schultz isn’t able to suit up tomorrow, that will open up a spot for Mark Streit to return to the lineup. Streit saw action in Game Three of this series but has been a healthy scratch the rest of the postseason so far. GM Jim Rutherford puzzled some when he added both Streit and Ron Hainsey at the deadline but with all of the injuries they’ve suffered, they’ve needed every bit of that extra depth.
Sullivan noted to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti that the team hasn’t ruled out Schultz or injured forwards Tom Kuhnhackl, Patric Hornqvist, and Bryan Rust from returning to the lineup on Sunday. All remain listed as day-to-day.
Other injury notes from around the league:
- Senators winger Alex Burrows skated today and could be ready to return to the lineup for Game Five tomorrow, reports Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston (Twitter link). He missed last night’s game with a leg injury. If he is able to go, winger Tommy Wingels could be the odd man out after playing just 5:18 on Friday night. Johnston also notes that defenseman Mark Borowiecki may also be ready to return after suffering a leg injury of his own in the first round against Boston. He would likely take the place of Fredrik Claesson in the lineup.
- After losing Ryan Johansen for the rest of the playoffs yesterday, the Predators may also be without their second line center in Mike Fisher tonight in Game Five. Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean calls Fisher’s situation grim in the short-term which doesn’t bode well for his potential availability tonight. He left Thursday’s game after taking a knee to the face from Anaheim defenseman Josh Manson, drawing blood immediately. The team has yet to reveal who is expected to draw into the lineup to replace Johansen and possibly Fisher as well.
- Anaheim winger Patrick Eaves skated today as he continues to test his lower body injury, notes Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). Eaves has been out of the lineup since Game Four of the second round against the Oilers. There remains no timetable for his return to game action.