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.