The Pittsburgh Penguins have played splendidly in spite of the absence of superstar Evgeni Malkin, but they might have another key player missing in their next game.
Defenseman Kris Letang's status is unknown as Pittsburgh seeks the franchise's fifth win streak of 10 or more games Tuesday night against the visiting Washington Capitals.
Malkin, the league's reigning MVP, has played three games in the past three-plus weeks due to a concussion and his current upper-body injury. He has resumed skating but remains out indefinitely.
Potentially joining Malkin on the injured list is Letang, who suffered a lower-body injury in the first period of Sunday's 2-1 win over Boston. After losing their second-leading assist man, the Penguins (22-8-0) again relied on their rejuvenated defense and earned a seventh straight home win despite getting outshot 32-18 - 12-3 in the final period.
Pittsburgh has allowed five goals over its last five games after giving up 37 in its previous nine.