From Dan Bylsma's post-game news conference after the Carolina Hurricanes game on Monday about defenseman Rob Scuderi, and it wasn't good:
"Rob Scuderi was seen by our doctors back in Pittsburgh," Bylsma said. "He has a broken ankle and will require surgery. Timetable wise, we don't have a definitive one on his recovery time but he will be having surgery later this week."
It's an awful loss to what's been an incredibly durable player. Scuderi has only missed 10 games since the beginning of the 2008-09 season, including none since 2009-10. He's been a reliable name in the lineup every night, but obviously that won't be the case for some time now.
Also, for a team as notoriously tight lipped as the Penguins, for Bylsma to give an exact diagnosis can't be a good sign either. This isn't some vague "lower-body injury, he'll be week-to-week", this seems like it will be a lengthy loss.
In Scuderi's absence, the Pens shifted Matt Niskanen back up to play with Kris Letang, a pairing they commonly used last season. Robert Bortuzzo, who had been slotted back in the #7 non-playing position, got a jersey for the Carolina game and will likely be back to the #6 on the depth chart. Rookie Olli Maatta will go up to be the 5th defensemen, but it was Bortuzzo who picked up some PK minutes and Maatta likely won't be leaned on any more heavily than if Scuderi was still around.
The Penguins also have Deryk Engelland, who's been experimented with as a forward, on the roster. Engelland can slide back to #7 on the depth chart for now, until the team decides if they need any more depth with a call-up from the minors. Given how high the team has been on Maatta and Bortuzzo, that doesn't seem likely at this point that the Pens would call anyone up from the minor leagues. They'll probably stick with who they have, and see how it goes for now.