While the Pittsburgh Penguins enjoyed winning their first game of the season Thursday, they did it without some of their key players.
Defenseman Kris Letang was placed on injured reserve September 30th, and although forward James Neal played in the season-opener after being listed as questionable, he clearly wasn’t fully recovered from his ailment.
What is being described as a lower-body injury, Letang skated on his own Saturday, but head coach Dan Bylsma reported there’s no timetable for his return just yet.
When Letang is healthy, he’s Pittsburgh’s most used skater, and is a prolific quarterback for the first-unit on the power play.
Neal, who is dealing with an upper-body injury, played only 3:49 minutes in Thursday’s contest against New Jersey before exiting with discomfort and did not skate Saturday.
Number-18 is reportedly out indefinitely and will be evaluated week-to-week, which leads us to speculate the injury is more severe than first anticipated.
Forward Beau Bennett skated on the second-line Saturday, and will probably be in the top-six fold for the forseeable future.
Forward Matt D’Agostini was another injured reserve casualty, however, Bylsma expects him to practice on either the 16th or 18th of this month.
Pittsburgh’s got the Buffalo Sabres in the CONSOL Energy Center, tonight at 7 p.m.