Bryan Rust out, Casey DeSmith to start for Penguins in Minnesota |

Bryan Rust out, Casey DeSmith to start for Penguins in Minnesota

Jonathan Bombulie
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith deflects the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Uniondale, N.Y.

ST. PAUL – Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust will miss Monday night’s game with the Minnesota Wild with a lower-body injury, coach Mike Sullivan said a few hours before faceoff.

Rust, who has eight goals and 11 points in his last nine games, was injured in the first period of a 6-1 Penguins win in St. Louis on Saturday night. Sullivan said Rust’s status is day to day.

The status of defenseman Olli Maatta, who also suffered a lower-body injury during the victory over the Blues, will be a game-time decision, Sullivan said.

Derek Grant is expected to draw into the lineup to replace Rust. If Maatta can’t play, Jamie Oleksiak would likely be pressed into action.

Casey DeSmith, meanwhile, will start in net after backing up Matt Murray for the previous three games.

In his last start, DeSmith made 40 saves to lead the Penguins to a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Dec. 20.

“When you look at Matt’s play the last little while, he’s played five out of the last seven games and we’re trying to keep them both involved,” Sullivan said. “We’re going to need them both. They’ve both played extremely well for us, so we have a comfort level putting either guy in the net. Right now, with the amount of games that we have over the next stretch of a couple weeks, we think by sharing the workload a little bit we can keep them both at their best.”

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Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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