Penguins’ Kris Letang out with (another) concussion after Doan hit

Penguins’ Kris Letang out with (another) concussion after Doan hit

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is out indefinitely after suffering concussion at the hands of Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan in a game on Saturday.

From the Penguins, via coach Mike Johnston:

Johnston confirmed that defenseman Kris Letang has a concussion. He's been released from the hospital, but will not be in the lineup tonight. "Like anything else, we’ll just take it as a day-to-day thing and we’ll see how he reacts and recovers from it," Johnston said.

Johnston said the team will go with five defensemen for the game and, if need be, Daniel Winnik could drop back to defense if needed.

The Winnik shift to defense is due to the fact that Christian Ehrhoff is also out of the lineup with an upper body injury. Said Winnik, with regard to shifting to defense:

“I guess [I could play defenseman],” Winnik said. “Some of us were just doing some fun stuff out there. Doing some defensive things out there [during morning skate]. If it happens, I’d be more than happy to go back.”

Doan finished his check well behind the play, sending Letang flying against the boards where his head bounced. There was no penalty on the play. Letang was hospitalized. Said Doan, after the play: "I just went to make sure I got a piece of him so he couldn't jump by me. ... We have to finish our check on him."

This is unfortunately not the first concussion for Letang, who had two back in 2012 and reportedly another one earlier this season.  As these things go, his return to the lineup can’t be predicted.

Any prolonged absence would be a significant blow to the Penguins. (“Thanks, Capt. Obvious…”) Letang is having a Norris-worthy season, with 54 points in 69 games and third on the team in 5v5 Corsi-for (55.8 percent).

The Penguins have seven games left on the season.