CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Pittsburgh Penguins winger and physical net-front presence extraordinaire Patric Hornqvist skated this morning but has been ruled out for Friday’s Game 5 at PPG Paints Arena.
“Hornqvist is not an easy guy to replace. He brings a unique dimension to our team but we also believe we have depth, even if the players are a little bit different,” said Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.
Hornqvist took the ice with teammates this morning and is said to be day-to-day. The Penguins have said little or nothing about the injury which Hornqvist suffered in Game 3.
Hornqvist had three points (1g, 2a) and 16 penalty minutes in the first three games of the Penguins’ first-round series against with the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Penguins were forced to replace Hornqvist, 31, with Dominik Simon on the Penguins top line with Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby. The Penguins also had to replace Hornqvist’s power-play presence in front of the net. They went 1 for 4 on the advantage in Game 4, scoring on their first opportunity en route to a 5-0 win.
“I thought they did a great job,” Sullivan said. “Jake brings a different dimension than (Hornqvist) does on the power play. Jake has real good hockey sense for a guy that is maybe undersized. He’s brave. He’s willing to go to the battle areas.
“Hornqvist is not an easy guy to replace. He brings a unique dimension to our team but we also believe we have depth, even if the players are a little bit different.”
Derick Brassard marveled at the way the Penguins played even without Hornqvist at their disposal.
“It just proved the depth of this team,” Brassard said. “Up front, we’re losing a really important playing in our dressing room. Dom’s coming in, having a really good game with Sid and Jake. We’re just trying to find chemistry between the lines. We’re scoring goals and that’s a really good sign.”
In other injury-related developments, Matt Murray appeared to be in pain early in the practice, but he finished the half-hour workout without further incident.
“Yeah, I’m good,” he said from his locker stall.