Matt’s Pens Beat #1: How Will This Defense Sustain With More Injuries?

The Pittsburgh Penguins evened up the series at one game a piece on Monday night, while the defense looked great with a convincing shutout the defense is becoming thinner by the day. As in the first period Justin Schultz got mashed into the boards and never returned to the game, which isn’t helping the Pens case as they are already without Trevor Daley and Kris Letang.

But Pens defenseman Brian Dumoulin said this in response to the loss of Justin Schultz “We’re confident in the group that we have. We know we can still execute the game plan well.” One thing about this group is that they are very resilient and have dealt with injuries all year and are capable of winning important games without starting depth.

Coach Sullivan believes in the next man up system and this team has bought into it the whole season and they just want to win at any and all costs whether its winning 1-0 or winning a shootout 5-4. The good news is that the offense is mostly healthy besides the injury to winger Bryan Rust and they have goalscorers on every line, and now they are contributing more on defense and getting sticks on pucks and slowing down the Senators offense and it showed in Game two.

But there are more bright spots before Game three as Trevor Daley has begun skating with the team and is listed as day to day, as there is still no word yet on the timetable for Schultz’s return to the ice. Because of this injury veteran Mark Streit will have to fill in for his absence, which is a big step because he hasn’t seen much ice time in the regular season and no playing time in the playoffs so far. New faces like Ruhwedel and Streit will have to make some contributions if the defense wants to stay afloat against the Senators.

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