Penguins coach Dan Bylsma declined to divulge much about the injury that forced defenseman Matt Niskanen from a 2-1 shootout win Sunday against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.

Niskanen, who has been paired with Kris Letang and has a goal and two assists, left late in the first period, apparently after he absorbed a check.

He will be further evaluated today in Pittsburgh.

More Lovejoy

It's not that Ben Lovejoy took any pleasure in seeing Niskanen get hurt.

But, really, he didn't mind some of the fallout, at least for part of one game.

The Penguins were forced to mix and match defensive pairings and ask the five healthy defensemen to log a lot of minutes.

"Over the short term, it's fun," said Lovejoy, who dressed for just the second game of the season.

"You're going out every shift, every other shift. Long term, you feel it. But when you lose a guy during the game, the five guys are able to rally and play more minutes. I think you wouldn't want to do it every game."

Lovejoy said because the five remaining defensemen in the game had been on the team together for at least a few years, a rotation with various partners wasn't a problem.

"We know each other's game," he said. "If you need to constantly be switching, I think people are comfortable playing with everyone."

Bylsma singled out Brooks Orpik's work after Niskanen left the game. Orpik played 28 minutes, 28 seconds -- second only to fellow defenseman Kris Letang in the game -- and led the game with nine blocked shots.

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