For the second straight game, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost the services of defenseman Jeff Petry. The 35-year-old played just three shifts in the first period before he exited the game after taking an elbow from Tyler Motte. Petry also exited Tuesday nights 6-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens with an apparent injury. Petry’s injury luck in the last two games has forced the Penguins defense to play shorthanded in back-to-back games, leaning heavily on Kris Letang who himself has dealt with a series of health issues this season.
If Petry is out for any length of time it would be likely that recent healthy scratch Chad Ruhwedel would draw back into the Penguins lineup. The Penguins do have Mark Friedman and Ty Smith stashed in the minors but would need to move Nick Bonino onto LTIR to call up either player. Ty Smith was quite good in limited NHL action earlier this season, however the young defenseman is still week-to-week with a facial fracture.
In other Penguins injury news:
- Seth Rorabaugh is reporting that Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan told tonight’s MSG broadcast that Pittsburgh expects center Nick Bonino to be back by the playoffs. Bonino was re-acquired on trade deadline day by the Penguins to center their fourth line but was only able to dress in a handful of games after spending most of the season with the San Jose Sharks. Jeff Carter has taken Bonino’s spot on the fourth line in recent games but has struggled mightily going -4 in just 8:28 of ice time on Tuesday against Montreal.
- Ryan Poehling did return to action tonight after missing over a month with a lingering upper body injury. The young forward saw duty on the fourth line next to Jeff Carter and Josh Archibald. Poehling’s return could create an interesting situation on the Penguins fourth line should Jeff Carter continue to struggle. Poehling was centering the unit earlier in the season prior to the injury and showed good chemistry with Drew O’Connor and Danton Heinen.