Defenseman Matt Niskanen, who left the contest early Sunday, sustained what is being described as a lower-body injury and will keep him off the ice for the next 2-4 weeks – according to Sam Kasan of the Pens’ website.
As for tonights lineup, Kasan is reporting that head coach Dan Bylsma said,
“Our lineup will obviously be adding a defenseman tonight, which will be a game-time (decision).”
Niskanen, who appeared to’ve been tripped up but no call was made, fell and slid into the boards awkwardly on his knee. The following period had then commenced with Niskanen absent for the rest of the game.
So far this year, Niskanen has been a solid, steady defenseman for the Pens.
In five contests, “Nisky” has pocketed one goal and a pair of helpers, while unfortunately having a minus-1 rating. But him and Kris Letang have worked well together. And with them lined up across eachother, they can match up with any other top defensive pairing in the league.
Even though it hasn’t been confirmed yet, count on Simon Despres to jump back into game-action for the Pens. It is being reported that he was paired up with Letang in this morning’s practice. Despres was recently benched after starting slowly for the team.
On the season, Despres has recorded just one helper in 3 games. Look for him to have a better outing this time around, if he is in fact alongside Letang.
And stay tuned for more updates, as well as Pens-Isles tonight at 7:30 p.m.