The Penguins' ninth consecutive victory did not come without a price.

Defenseman Kris Letang, a catalyst at both ends of the rink during the team's March surge, sustained a lower-body injury during a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins at Consol Energy Center on Sunday.

Letang was injured late in the first period and did not return.

He skated into a corner while trailed by Bruins center Brad Marchand, whose skate blade appeared to make contact with the back of Letang's skate. However, several teammates said Letang's injury was not a cut to the back of the leg.

Coach Dan Bylsma said Letang is being re-evaluated for a lower-body injury.

Marchand was concerned for Letang.

“He did say something like he was in pain,” said Marchand, who added he was unaware of his skate blade making contact with Letang. “I don't know what happened.”

Letang's injury remains something of a mystery, but there was plenty of evidence during the final 40 minutes against the Bruins to conclude that the Penguins are not the same team without their star defenseman.

Perhaps the team's two best puck possession players — Letang and center Evgeni Malkin (upper-body injury) ­— are out of the lineup.

Against the Bruins, Letang's absence was especially clear. The Penguins have been outshot in only 11 of their 30 games this season, but they managed only eight shots during the final two periods while surrendering 21 to the Bruins. The 18 shots the Penguins registered represent the lowest total of shots in a regular-season game in the Dan Bylsma era. A far more famous 2-1 victory — Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final in Detroit — marks the previous time the Penguins put 18 shots on net.

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