Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley will miss the remainder of the NHL playoffs after suffering a broken left ankle, coach Mike Sullivan announced.

Penguins Lose Defenseman Trevor Daley

Daley, 32, sustained the injury in the second period of the Penguins’ 4-3 loss in Game 4 at Tampa Bay on Friday when he slammed into the wall after competing for a puck against Lightning forward Ryan Callahan. Daley’s left leg appeared to twist, and he fell to the ice. He was on crutches and had a wrap on his foot when he left Amalie Arena.

“He’s an important player on our team. So when we lose him for the rest of this game, he’s a hard guy to replace,” Sullivan said Friday. “He plays a lot of minutes. He plays in key situations. So when you lose him halfway through the game like we did and you get down to five [defensemen], it’s hard enough going down to five, but when you lose someone like Trevor that plays important minutes for us, it just makes it that much tougher.”

Pittsburgh acquired Dailey in a December trade with the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Rob Scuderi. Daley had one goal and five assists during the postseason and ranked second on the team in average ice time in the playoffs behind Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. Daley’s six postseason points trail only Letang among Pittsburgh defensemen.


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The Penguins also reshuffled their defense and veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury started Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday, which the Lightning won 4-3 in overtime. Tampa Bay now leads the series 3-2.

Fleury, 31, hasn’t started a game since he suffered a concussion on March 31. He played the third period of Game 4 on Friday, making seven saves. Fleury replaced rookie goaltender Matt Murray after the youngster allowed four goals in the first two periods of the loss, which ended up tying the series for the Lightning.

“Lots of things went into the decision,” Sullivan sated regarding Fleury’s start, via USA Today.

Fleury posted a 2.29 GAA and .921 save percentage during the regular season. He has a postseason career record of 53-44 along with a 2.64 goals-against average. He has eight career shutouts in the playoffs.

Twenty-one-year-old Murray, meanwhile, has logged a .923 save percentage in the postseason, and has a 9-4 record and a 2.33 GAA in 13 playoff games. He won 16 of his last 20 starts.

Sullivan said Murray was understanding of the situation when he was told he was not playing.

“Matt’s great,” Sullivan said. “He’s a very composed kid. He’s played extremely well for this team, as has Marc, and these guys, their contributions to this team, both of them, [backup goalie Jeff] Zatkoff included, all three of those guys are big reasons why this team is where we’re at. It’s very difficult to discount any one of their contributions. We’re fortunate that we have three guys like we have that we can go to, to help this team continue to win, and that’s how we look at it.

“But Matt’s terrific. He understands. He gets it. He’s a mature kid. If and when he’s called upon to go back into the net, he’ll go back in the net. He comes to the rink every day, he puts his equipment on, and he plays, and that’s one of the things we love about him.”

Game 6 is set for Tuesday in Tampa Bay. The Penguins are seeking their first Stanley Cup in seven years.

PHOTO: PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Trevor Daley #6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in action in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Rangers at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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