PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Penguins recalled Ben Lovejoy from the AHL on Saturday to help replace defenceman Jordan Leopold, who had to helped off the ice after being hit during Pittsburgh’s playoff game against Ottawa.
Leopold was levelled by a hard check from Senators defenceman Andy Sutton late in the first period of Pittsburgh’s 2-1 victory in Game 2 on Friday. Leopold has had several concussions and it is uncertain when he might return. He will not play in Game 3 on Sunday night.
“Jordan is definitely day-to-day right now,” coach Dan Bylsma said Saturday. “I honestly don’t have a report on him right now.”
Sutton was not penalized and contended it was a legal hit, although the Penguins argued he raised his body and targeted Leopold’s head with his left arm.
“It was a dirty hit. I still feel that way. You remember stuff like that down the road,” forward Mike Rupp said.
Lovejoy had a plus-8 rating and three assists while playing in 12 games with Pittsburgh this season. He has nine goals and 20 assists at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Defenceman Jay McKee, who did not play in the first two games, will move into the lineup with Leopold out.
“Jay’s strengths are a little different from Jordan’s,” Bylsma said. “Jay is a (penalty kill) guy and a shot blocker. We get more help on the PK with Jay in there. It certainly won’t change the way we play.”