Seth Rorabaugh of Tribune-Review Sports is reporting that the Pittsburgh Penguins have transferred forward Matthew Nieto to the Long-Term Injured Reserve after activating forward Bryan Rust. Nieto has been out of action for the Penguins with a lower-body injury since November 30th and is free to return whenever he is physically able to as he has already exceeded the 10-game, 24-day requirement for LTIR.
Nieto signed a two-year deal with the Penguins on July 1st and has been terrific on the penalty kill but has struggled at even strength as the fourth line has been ineffective when he has been a part of it thus far. In 22 games this season the 31-year-old Long Beach, California native has a goal and three assists. The timing of Nieto’s injury was unfortunate as he was starting to gain traction in the games leading up to him getting hurt.
In other evening notes:
- Philadelphia Flyers writer Bill Meltzer is reporting that the Flyers have returned forward Alexis Gendron to the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL. The 20-year-old had played in 17 games for the Flyers AHL affiliate the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and had posted five goals and two assists. His QMJHL rights were traded by the Gatineau Olympiques to Drummondville on December 30th meaning he will be suiting up for the Voltigeurs for the first time.
- Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks are set to welcome defenseman Nikita Zaitsev back to the lineup tonight when they take on the Nashville Predators. The 32-year-old has been out with an illness and will draw back into the lineup in place of Isaak Phillips after a two-game absence. Zaitsev has dressed in 18 games this season and has averaged 15:42 of ice time per game while registering a goal and four assists.