PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins may be forced to play without Kris Letang when their first round series continues on Wednesday night.
Letang could be facing supplementary discipline for a hit to the head of Capitals winger Marcus Johansson in the first period of Game 3 on Monday night.
The 29-year-old, averaging almost 30 minutes a game in the playoffs, caught Johansson with an elbow to the head area just after Johansson released a pass as he entered the offensive zone.
Johansson laid face-down on the ice with little movement before the play was eventually whistled down. He was helped off the ice by a team trainer, returning for the start of the second period.
Letang was called for interference on the play.
Losing Letang to a potential suspension would badly hurt the Penguins, who played without injured 21-year-old defenceman Olli Maatta on Monday evening. Maatta was out with an upper-body injury, the result of a late hit from Capitals defenceman Brooks Orpik in Game 2.
Orpik was suspended three games, a punishment Washington head coach Barry Trotz thought to be harsh.
"I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised based on who we're playing and all that," he said.
Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press