A chronic shoulder injury is likely to keep Tom Barrasso off the ice for the rest of the year, leaving Ken Wregget as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ regular goalie.
Barrasso sat out the past two weeks while undergoing treatment for what General Manager Craig Patrick called a recurring problem in his right shoulder. A new rehabilitation program will sideline him for six to eight weeks, the Penguins announced Friday.
“We’ve got to get his shoulder rehabbed properly,” Patrick said after meeting Wednesday with Barrasso and Dr. Charles Burke, the Penguins’ orthopedic surgeon.
“The two weeks he’s had so far haven’t rehabilitated it enough to get him back.”
That leaves Wregget, who bumped Barrasso from the team’s No. 1 goaltending spot, facing full-time duty. He is 7-8-2 with a 2.99 goals-against average. Barrasso is 0-5, 5.78. Wregget will make his 12th consecutive start Saturday against Boston.
The Penguins will use rookie Patrick Lalime to back up Wregget. Lalime’s lone experience came in a relief role in an 8-3 loss to New York on Nov. 16, when he stopped 11 of 14 shots.
“He’s a lot smarter goaltender than he was last year,” Wregget said. “I really believe he’s ready to play.”
Patrick said doctors aim to help Barrasso build up the strength in his shoulder, where his muscles have atrophied.
Surgery, which would end Barrasso’s chances of playing this season, is also a possibility.
But any decision to operate would likely be delayed until the rehabilitation effort is complete.