The Pittsburgh Penguins played Sunday without one of their recently acquired defensemen in Mike Matheson. With plenty of questions, head coach Mike Sullivan said that the blueliner would be out “longer term,” with an upper-body injury that he sustained in the team’s previous game against Philadelphia on Friday, according to Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is not expected to play Tuesday against the Capitals either.
The 26-year-old was placed on injured reserve too, according to Seth Rorabaugh of Trib Sports. No word on how long Matheson will be out or what is wrong with him, although he did have his right shoulder worked on the bench during Friday’s game.
Matheson was brought in to re-shape the team’s defense, adding some grit and much-needed physicality to the team when the Penguins traded Patric Hornqvist for him in the offseason. Matheson fell out of favor in Florida, but was averaging more than 20 minutes per game before last season. The team turned to Juuso Riikola to take Matheson’s spot and could conceivably recall prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph from the taxi squad, if the team feels he’s ready.