The Pittsburgh Penguins have been hit with a significant blow as center Jordan Staal did not practice this morning and is expected to miss the remainder of the playoffs due to a foot injury.
Head coach Dan Bylsma indicated after practice that Staal had surgery to repair a lacerated tendon in his foot. It’s an injury that usually sidelines a player for 2-3 months. Bylsma though would not confirm that Staal has been ruled out for the rest of the playoffs and even called Staal day-to-day.
However, Staal will be sidelined for a significant period of time.
Defenseman Jordan Leopold participated fully in today’s practice and has been cleared for contact and return to action according to a source.
A sign that Dan Bylsma is seriously considering playing Leopold in game 2 is that Leopold was paired with Alex Goligoski for the entire practice.
Today’s Practice Lines and D-Pairs
Cooke – Crosby – Dupuis
Ponikarovsky – Malkin – Fedotenko
Rupp – Talbot – Kennedy
Conner – Adams – Godard
Lovejoy – Letang
Leopold – Goligoski
McKee – Engelland
Notes: Billy Guerin, Chris Kunitz, Jordan Staal, Mark Eaton, Brooks Orpik, and Sergei Gonchar did not practice.
With Jordan Staal not available, Mark Letestu has been given an opportunity to practice with the big club.
Tyler Kennedy looked much improved and there’s a chance he could return for game 2. He’s a very good bet to return by Game 3 at the latest.
more to come