Paul Martin Out, Carl Sneep to Make NHL Debut Tonight vs. Sabres

Five-million-dollar defenseman Paul Martin is the latest name the Pittsburgh Penguins will add to their long list of injured players. Martin suffered a knee injury in last night’s 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators. The severity of the injury is not yet known, and there is no timetable for his return.

Unreal.

Carl Sneep, the team’s 2006 second-round draft pick, will make his NHL debut tonight in place of Martin. The 24-year-old has nine assists and a plus-6 rating in 27 AHL games this season. He’s essentially ranked 11th on the organization’s defensive depth chart.

Sidney Crosby was placed on injured reserve today and remains out indefinitely. Not good.

The Penguins are struggling with so many key players injured. Evgeni Malkin is the only player who continues to show up for the Penguins, and ranks third in the NHL in points per game behind Crosby and Claude Giroux.

The Penguins (17-11-4) host the Buffalo Sabres tonight (16-12-3). Pittsburgh has won just five of its last ten games and will show up tonight coming off consecutive losses.

Here’s why:

Injured Reserve:

- Sidney Crosby - C, concussion

-  Kris Letang – D , concussion

-  Zbynek Michalek – D, concussion

Richard Park – F, fractured foot

Dustin Jeffrey – C, knee

Ben Lovejoy – D, broken wrist

Robert Bortuzzo – D, concussion

Brian Strait  – D, elbow

Michalek was on track to return to game action last night, but has confirmed he is suffering from more concussion symptoms, and remains out indefinitely, but could return at any time. Confusing situation with this one.

UPDATE: Jordan Staal did not participate in pre-game warmups, meaning he will likely miss tonight’s game.

Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start tonight after spelling Brent Johnson after two periods of last night’s game.

Ryan Miller is expected to start for the Sabres, but I haven’t seen that confirmed yet.

Puck drop at 7:08 PM on Root Sports.

Let’s Go Pens.

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