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Penguins Injury Updates: Zucker Joins Practice in Full-Contact Jersey; McGinn Non-Contact



Pittsburgh Penguins, Jason Zucker (left), Brock McGinn (right)

Cranberry Twp, PA — In another surprise twist on the Pittsburgh Penguins injury front, winger Jason Zucker was a part of practice on Wednesday, and was in a back, full-contact sweater. Also, for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on March 11 against the Vegas Golden Knights, winger Brock McGinn also suited up.

However, McGinn was in a gray non-contact jersey.

Head coach Mike Sullivan used McGinn in line drills with Teddy Blueger at center and Brian Boyle on the left wing. Sullivan said on Tuesday morning that he expected more news Wednesday regarding Zucker and that team doctors were consulting with the player. Feedback was positive, and optimism abounded.

Zucker, 30, skated on the LW of the second line with Evgeni Malkin. Rickard Rakell played on the right.

The Colorado Avalanche skated past the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 on Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena. After returning from a 30-game absence due to core muscle surgery, Zucker returned to the lineup last Thursday in Minnesota but suffered a scary collision with the boards.

The injury cut short Zucker’s return to Minnesota, where he played the first nine seasons of his NHL career. Because of COVID restrictions, it was the first time Zucker played in Minnesota since the Penguins acquired him near the 2020 NHL trade deadline.

This season, Zucker has 14 points (6-8-14) in 32 games. He earned a first-period assist in Minnesota.

“He’s going to travel with us to New York. We’ll see how it goes, but we’re certainly encouraged by what we saw today. He had a good practice,” head coach Mike Sullivan said.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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7 months ago

Glad to see that Zucker will be back soon as his injury has weakened three lines and not just the second line. I say this I do not think Carter is as good of a fit at wing as he is at center, so even with Carter at wing the second line is not as good as with Zucker. The third line has more scoring ability with Carter than Teddy, and the fourth in is better with Boyle as a wing and Teddy as the center. Dan, what are your thoughts on this and possible options if this line adjustment… Read more »

7 months ago

I’m in a lot better spirits to know that Zucker is ready and able to unleash hell again. And when McGinn joins him, whooo boy, you just watch what happens . . .

Last edited 7 months ago by Paul
7 months ago

There is the juggling on the top–and then there is the juggling on the bottom. Pens lost 3 regulars–Lafferty. Reese, and Simon–all from bottom this season. That is far more concerning to me than cohesion on top lines–the top will settle and gel either somewhat (put Zucker with Malkin) or mostly (put Zucker with Crosby, and Rust with Malkin) come playoffs–but the bottom likely remains iffy no matter what you do. Yes Carter is not fast enough for 2nd–or too defensively responsible–to release up ice–that is how they have Malkin trying to play as well–so you are trading some faceoff… Read more »