NEW YORK -- The Penguins will be without two of their top-four defensemen tonight at Madison Square Garden as both Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek are heading back to Pittsburgh for further evaluation. Both players were with the Penguins at the morning skate.
Pittsburgh recalled defensemen Alexandre Picard and Robert Bortuzzo from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. Both are expected to play as the Penguins have only six defensemen remaining in New York.
Letang suffered a broken nose when Montreal forward Max Pacioretty hit him Saturday. Pacioretty was suspended for three games by the NHL on Monday for an illegal hit to the head.
Michalek missed 10 straight games from Oct. 29 - Nov. 19 because of a broken finger, but he has played in the last four. The nature of his injury has not been disclosed.
Picard played six games with the Penguins earlier this month, averaging 12:41 of ice time and picking up a plus-4 rating. Bortuzzo made his NHL debut with the Penguins at Los Angeles on Nov. 5. He was scoreless and had a minor penalty in 10:38 of ice time.
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