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Jake Guentzel Travels West With Penguins, Skates



Pittsburgh Penguins, Jake Guentzel

Injured top-line left winger Jake Guentzel traveled with the Pittsburgh Penguins on their western trip and skated separately from the club Monday in Vancouver.

“It’s great. It’s a big step when (injured players) get on the ice,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It just means they’re that much closer, so it’s great to see him out there.”

Guentzel is on LTIR because of an upper-body injury. He is eligible to be activated as of March 10.

He ranks second on the team in goals with 22 and points with 52.

It’s notable that he will still be on LTIR when the March 8 NHL trade deadline arrives.

It’s also notable that the Penguins, who have won two straight games but remain in a precarious position in terms of making the playoffs, could be without the other winger on Sidney Crosby’s line, Bryan Rust, who did not travel to Vancouver and is still being evaluated for an upper-body injury.

It remains to be seen whether Guentzel will join his teammates in some capacity for practice during the trip, which also has stops in Seattle, Calgary and Edmonton.