Jun 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) carries the puck under pressure from Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic (17) during the third period in game one of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Boston Bruins won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pens Place Letang & Vokoun On Injured Reserve

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have reportedly placed defenseman Kris Letang and goaltender Tomas Vokoun on injured reserve to start the season – according to the team’s website.

Letang was diagnosed with a lower-body injury after missing practice Saturday, and Vokoun is sidelined indefinitely following his surgery to repair a blood clot in his pelvis.

For Pittsburgh, both of these injuries are tremendously detrimental to the team.

Letang, who was a Norris trophy (best defenseman) finalist for the first time last season, signed a new eight-year deal this offseason and is coming of one of his best campaigns ever.

In just 35 regular-season games last season, Letang recorded 38 points (5G, 33A) and skated to a phenomenal plus-16 rating. He led all NHL defensemen in scoring for the postseason, after he registered 16 points (3G, 13A) in 15 contests.

Leading the team in ice-time for the regular-season and the playoffs, Letang is a imperative contributor towards the Pens power play success — hopefully his injury won’t keep him shelved long-term.

Vokoun, 37, became a mainstay in net for Pittsburgh after Marc-Andre Fleury had another one of his playoff meltdowns, and was a vital piece for the Pens depth at the goaltending position.

Going 13-4-0 in 20 regular-season games, Vokoun went 6-5-0 and had a 2.01 goals-against-average with a .933 save percentage in 11 postseason contests.

Prospect defenseman Olli Maatta could potentially see time at the start of the season for Pittsburgh, and goaltender Jeff Zatkoff is expected to fill-in for Vokoun while he’s absent.

Opening day is Thursday for Pittsburgh – they’ll take on the New Jersey Devils in the CONSOL Energy Center at 7 p.m.

 

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