Penguins Lose Forward For 6-8 Weeks

He hasn’t played in over a month after suffering a knee injury, now it could be March before the Pittsburgh Penguins see depth forward Matt Nieto back in the lineup following knee surgery.

Nieto has undergone successful laparoscopic surgery on his right knee, the team has announced. He last suited up back on November 30th. He's missed 14 games thus far, in which the Pens have gone 7-4-3. 

In 22 games played this season, the fourth-line winger has a goal and three assists for four points in 11:37 minutes of ice time per night. In particular, his solid work on the penalty kill unit will be missed, where he averaged nearly 2 1/2 minutes per contest with the Penguins shorthanded.

The defensive-minded 31-year-old forward was brought in as a free agent this past summer, signing a two-year contract with an AAV of $900,000, as new GM Kyle Dubas remade the Penguins' bottom six. 

In 11 NHL seasons, Nieto has recorded 86 goals along with 117 assists for 203 points in 673 career games.

The Penguins find themselves mired in 7th place in the Metro Division, with 40 points, at 18-14-4 on the season. 

Photo: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports