Defenseman Matt Niskanen became the first Penguin to miss a game this season because of injury when he sat out the game Tuesday night against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center because of what is believed to be a right ankle injury.

Coach Dan Bylsma said Niskanen would remain out two to four weeks.

Niskanen, who wore an orthopedic boot while his teammates had their morning skate, was hurt Sunday in the 2-1 shootout win at Ottawa.

He had a goal and two assists in five games.

Despres helps to fill vacancy

Rookie defenseman Simon Despres slid into Niskanen's spot, playing alongside Kris Letang at times and manning one point on the second power-play unit.

Despres, a first-round draft pick in 2010, played the first three games this season before yielding his lineup spot to Ben Lovejoy.

"I'm just want to prove I can play and stay in the lineup every day," said Despres, who in 21 career NHL games, has a power-play goal and four assists.