Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Concussion Doesn't Ice Letang This Time

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Concussion Doesn't Ice Letang This Time

Article excerpt

With Kris Letang's concussion history this season, the Penguins weren't taking any chances Sunday when he collided with New Jersey's Dainius Zubrus. They made him leave the game until he got cleared by a doctor.

"We wouldn't put him [back] on the ice if he had any lingering effects until a doctor looked at him, given the way he reacted to that confrontation," coach Dan Bylsma said.

It turns out another play, in the third period of that game, was the one that knocked Letang out of a game Tuesday against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center. He went feet-first into the end boards awkwardly when he was tripped by Devils forward Ryan Carter and sustained an undisclosed injury.

Bylsma listed Letang, the club's top defenseman, as day to day.

Also out Tuesday was defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who got hurt Sunday. He had arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss three to four weeks, Bylsma said.

Winger Steve Sullivan, who missed the New Jersey game, returned against the Islanders. He said his undisclosed injury was something that responded to a couple of days of rest.

Two injured players -- defenseman Matt Niskanen and center Joe Vitale -- worked out on the ice before the Penguins' game-day skate and are day to day. Injured goaltender Brent Johnson participated in the skate but probably needs a couple of more practices, Bylsma said.

Renewed excitement

Defensemen Simon Despres and Brian Strait, who were recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to fill in for Letang and Lovejoy, had played with the Penguins previously this season -- 16 games for Despres, four for Strait -- but this time it was a little different.

"It's a little bit more exciting with the playoffs coming up," Despres, the Penguins' first-round draft pick in 2009, said. "You want to get ready for the playoffs. Each time I'm up here I try to get the most out of it."

Strait said he feels more excited than nervous about playing NHL games now. …

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