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Penguins Practice: Rust Sheds No-Contact Jersey, Malkin Skates Again



Bryan Rust

Penguins top-line right winger Bryan Rust took the ice for practice Friday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in seemingly full capacity. He no longer was wearing a contrasting, no-contact jersey.

Rust has missed the past seven games after sustaining a lower-body injury in the second game of the season. He was initially listed as being out week to week.

There were no line rushes early on in practice, but Rust participated in a lively, short-rink three-on-three scrimmage. Later, Rust resumed his normal spot at right wing on the top line, with Jeff Carter at center and Jake Guentzel. Rust also practiced with the top power play unit.

He skated before practice for a while and on Wednesday joined practice in a non-contact jersey.

We could get an update after practice but that could be a bit of good news given all the personnel challenges the Penguins have had. In COVID-19 protocol right now are center Sidney Crosby, defensemen Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel, as well as coach Mike Sullivan. Todd Reirden is serving a interim coach.

UPDATE: Neither Reirden nor Rust, speaking after practice, would rule out Rust playing Saturday. He will need to be further evaluated but is a game-time decision. “Today was a big day for him, going through a full practice,” Reirden said.

The Penguins, despite their absences, halted a three-game losing streak Thursday with a 3-2 overtime win against Philadelphia. They host the Minnesota Wild Saturday at PPG Paints Arena.

Penguins second-line center Evgeni Malkin skated before practice, something that seems to have increased from the initial two times a week he was prescribed by the team medical staff. He is due back sometime next month from offseason knee surgery.

We could find out after practice whether there is any news on Malkin’s timetable.

UPDATE: Reirden did not have a specific update on Malkin, other than to say he is evaluated daily and is progressing.



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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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