Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Return Date Set for Letang

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Return Date Set for Letang

Article excerpt

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang skated hard Thursday at Southpointe. He made cuts. Stopped hard and started quickly. Did drills with lateral movement.

But that was before the team's practice, and he did not return for that.

That means it's unlikely that Letang, who is believed to have a knee injury, will play tonight at Florida. Coach Dan Bylsma has said Letang needed to work his way back to practice before he would return to the lineup.

Winger Matt D'Agostini, who has an undisclosed injury, skated with Letang and conditioning coach Mike Kadar. D'Agostini could return to practice next week.

It's unclear whether winger James Neal (undisclosed injury) skated for a second day in a row.

Zatkoff's NHL debut looms

There's a strong chance Penguins backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff will make his NHL debut tonight. Bylsma has hinted that strongly the rookie would start tonight or Saturday at Tampa Bay.

"The hardest part has just been the buildup to the [first] game," said Zatkoff, who was elevated to the No. 2 goalie behind Marc- Andre Fleury when it was determined that Tomas Vokoun (blood thinners) would be out for at least a few months.

"Once the game starts, everything will go back to normal. Just to get that first one out of the way will be nice."

Zatkoff is from the Detroit area and wasn't sure if family and friends would make it to the Sunshine State.

"It's kind of far," he said. "Might have a few make it out there, but they all have the [NHL on-demand] package, so they'll be watching in on TV."

Talking about Hertl ...

Around the NHL, they are talking about San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl. Not only for his four-goal performance Tuesday against the New York Rangers, but also the manner in which he scored his fourth (and team's eighth) goal in a 9-2 win.

Hertl, skating across the top of the crease, pushed the puck backward between his legs and flipped it over Rangers goaltender Marty Biron.

Washington coach Adam Oates didn't like the "trick shot," apparently because he thought it was showboating.

"I think it was a little bit of a mood thing, which I'm sure they talked about, because they didn't play him after that," Oates said, according to the Washington Post. …

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