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Aston-Reese Back, Simon Likely Healthy Scratch
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Aston-Reese Back, Simon Likely Healthy Scratch

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PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan shuffled the lines again, Wednesday morning. The mad scientist Sullivan who put Phil Kessel on the left wing Monday night in Philadelphia again rearranged his forwards, in part because of the return of Zach Aston-Reese and in larger part because of the one-game suspension of Evgeni Malkin.

The lines looked a little more settled, except for Teddy Blueger and Garrett Wilson ahead of Dominik Simon, who has only three points (1g, 2a) in his last 12 games. The move continues to show the Penguins organization’s increasing support behind Wilson, as well.

According to head coach Mike Sullivan, Aston-Reese is probable, however, Aston-Reese confirmed to reporters he was ready to go. PHN will have more on Aston-Reese later today.

Penguins Lines

Guentzel–Crosby–Rust

Pearson–Bjugstad–Kessel

Blueger–McCann–Hornqvist

Aston-Reese–Cullen–Wilson

Defense

Dumoulin–Letang

Riikola–Johnson

Pettersson–Ruhwedel

The Return of Justin Schultz?

Poor Schultz has had to answer the question every day, backward and forwards. The simple quote today regarding his return:

“When I’m comfortable and confident I can go out there and make plays.”

Chad Ruhwedel will go in place of Schultz, tonight. Ruhwedel has not played in the NHL since Nov. 19. He did participate in a conditioning assignment to the WBS Penguins of the AHL last month.

“From a defensive aspect it is about getting the puck out of our zone quickly to the skilled forwards, then go down and play in the offensive zone,” said Ruhwedel who hopes to find his confidence and rhythm quickly. “Hopefully one shift. The sooner the better and I’ll hopefully get back into the swing of things.”

Sidney Crosby also praised Ruwedel’s work ethic.

“Rudy [sic] is so good at preparing himself. He’s been in that situation before and he’s shown he can step right in and make plays,” Crosby said.

 Crosby v McDavid

It seems to have lost its luster, doesn’t it? The tire fire otherwise known the GM-less Edmonton Oilers are on hard times and their coach has been putting the boots to them publicly.

Crosby didn’t necessarily admit to a special tingle with playing McDavid, but Crosby will have to defend him,

“There’s always a certain challenge that comes with that. Guys are aware when you’re playing someone of his caliber,” Crosby smiled. “I think there’s a heightened awareness when he’s on the ice.”

 

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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