PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will not play against the Ottawa Senators on Monday at Consol Energy Center.
After missing two games with an undisclosed illness, Letang continues to not feel well and will undergo further evaluations. It is uncertain if Letang's ailment could be long-term, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
The 2013 Norris Trophy finalist has missed 21 games entering Monday due to various injuries.
Pittsburgh is 16-5-0 without Letang this season, but defenseman Matt Niskanen said the Penguins will need to increase their quality of play if they are to compete with Ottawa after losing 3-1 against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.
"They play hard, they have a good mix of skilled veterans and young energy guys that can skate," Niskanen said. "They play a fast game. [Craig] Anderson's a good goalie. Where they're at in the standings, they're going to bring it.
"They're a good test for us and a good thing for us to keep getting better at those tight-checking games, those tightly matched games."
The Senators defeated Pittsburgh 5-0 when Letang was out with an upper-body injury on Dec. 23. But Ottawa captain Jason Spezza said the Penguins are dangerous with or without Letang.
"Their power play is probably a little different missing him," Spezza said. "He's elite back there and he shoots it and sees the ice, but I think he's been out for a lot of games this year and they've had a lot of success anyway. They have some pretty creative guys over there.
"But you definitely pay attention to that stuff."
Pittsburgh did not do line rushes during its Monday morning skate, but it is likely Robert Bortuzzo will remain in Letang's usual position alongside Rob Scuderi.
Here are the expected lineups for the Senators and Penguins:
Milan Michalek – Jason Spezza – Mika Zibanejad
Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Bobby Ryan
Colin Greening – Zack Smith – Chris Neil
Cory Conacher – Stephane Da Costa – Erik Condra
Jared Cowen – Erik Karlsson
Marc Methot – Eric Gryba
Patrick Wiercioch – Cody Ceci
Scratched: Joe Corvo, Matt Kassian
Injured: Mark Stone (upper body), Chris Phillips (lower body)
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Brian Gibbons
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Tanner Glass – Brandon Sutter – Jayson Megna
Taylor Pyatt – Craig Adams – Deryk Engelland
Brooks Orpik – Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi – Robert Bortuzzo
Olli Maatta – Matt Niskanen
Scratched: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett
Injured: Kris Letang (ill), Beau Bennett (wrist/hand), Chris Conner (hand), Pascal Dupuis (ACL), Joe Vitale (upper body), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)