Kris Letang To Undergo Neck Surgery, Out 4-6 Months

The Pittsburgh Penguins will head into the Stanley Cup playoffs without defenceman Kris Letang.

"Kris underwent an MRI in February that revealed a herniated disc in his neck", General Manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement.

The Pittsburgh Penguins delivered some pretty terrible news on Wednesday morning, when the Metropolitan Division club confirmed that top-pairing defenseman Kris Letang will be out for the next 4-6 months following surgery for a herniated disc in his neck. "Our neurosurgeons examined him and recommended conservative treatment in an attempt to correct the condition without surgery".

"If I feel I can play the last game or the last two I will", said Malkin, who has missed 11 straight games.

Conversely, Saturday's game means everything to the Leafs, who need two points in their final two games to clinch a first playoff berth since 2013.

Letang has been out of the lineup since February 21.

"His first priority is his own recovery", Sullivan said.

Malkin, who has 72 points in 62 games this season, noted that he'd yet to take contact, but was feeling better and better each day. His best season came during the 2015-16 season when he set career-highs in goals with 16, assists with 51 and points with 67. "It wasn't any one incident", Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Wednesday at a press conference. "We're not asking anybody to replace him". "I'm sure he can lend some insights".

Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta also skated Thursday and is close to returning to the lineup.

Sullivan said Wednesday the team is hopeful Evgeni Malkin will be ready for the playoffs.

The forward hasn't played since March 15, when he sustained an upper-body injury against the Philadelphia Flyers.

  • Julie Sanders