PENGUINS – CAPITALS PRE GAME BUZZ
Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta will avoid a second shoulder surgery. Head coach Mike Johnston revealed after the morning skate that Maatta is progressing in his rehab and could return in about four weeks.
Maatta has not played since December 6, after dealing with discomfort in his surgically repaired shoulder. A second opinion sought from an outside doctor last Monday revealed Maatta can avoid surgery through rehab and rest. The evaluation was much more promising than the first opinion received for Maatta.
Last season Maatta played the final four months of the season with a torn labrum before having surgery after the playoffs.
WHO’S IN VS CAPITALS?
— Brandon Sutter tested negative for mumps and will return to the lineup tonight. Sutter centered Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist in the morning skate.
— Jayson Megna recalled from Wilkes Barre, will skate on the third line with Marcel Goc and Nick Spaling tonight.
— Robert Bortuzzo is a game time decision and likely to return to the lineup tonight. “Everything’s good to go. Feel confident out there, ready to play,” Bortuzzo said.
— Jeff Zatkoff will backup Marc Andre Fleury.
WHO’S OUT VS CAPITALS
— Paul Martin and Beau Bennett are both progressing and participated in the morning skate, though, neither player is ready to return to the lineup tonight.
— Craig Adams and Zach Sill both skated prior to the morning skate. Both will be miss tonight’s game.
— Additional players who are injured/ill and won’t play tonight include Steve Downie (mumps), Thomas Greiss (mumps), Scott Wilson (Inj), Blake Comeau (Inj), Christian Ehrhoff (Inj). Comeau’s injury is long-term, while Ehrhoff is also not believed to be close to returning.
PENGUINS PROJECTED LINEUP
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust
Evgeni Malkin – Brandon Sutter – Patric Hornqvist
Nick Spaling – Marcel Goc – Jayson Megna
Rob Klinkhammer – Andrew Ebbett – Bobby Farnham
Simon Despres – Kris Letang
Scott Harrington – Robert Bortuzzo
Derrick Pouliot – Rob Scuderi
Marc Andre Fleury