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(Updated) Penguins’ Karlsson Sick; Inside Scoop as Harkins Cuts Mullet



Pittsburgh Penguins practice, Erik Karlsson

LAS VEGAS — The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled defenseman Ryan Shea after demoting forward Radim Zohorna on Wednesday, and they may need him.

Top defenseman Erik Karlsson was absent from practice at T-Mobile Arena Friday. The Penguins last practiced Wednesday at the UPMC Lemieux Complex in Cranberry and had Thursday off.

UPDATE: Coach Mike Sullivan said Karlsson was sick and held out because of it.

In case you missed it, Sullivan missed practice on Wednesday to be in Boston, welcoming the birth of his first grandchild.

Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel seems to have avoided injury after being hurt late in the Monday game against the Seattle Kraken. Shea is the extra defenseman. Forward Colin White also appears to be in the lineup as the Penguins’ 12th forward. With Zohorna’s demotion, the team has no extra forwards.

Also, of absolutely no consequence but curiosity, forward Jansen Harkins got a haircut. Gone is the mullet.

Jansen Harkins, Pittsburgh Penguins practice

Pittsburgh Hockey Now has the inside scoop on Harkins’s decision to get rid of the mullet. There was no great story behind his decision, though it might have some fallout.

“I just felt like it was time,” Harkins said. “…there wasn’t a specific reason, and my neck hadn’t seen the sun in like two years. I needed a change.”

Harkins shared that his girlfriend wanted him to keep it, but he was a little rebellious.

Good luck with that.

Penguins Lines from Practice

Jake Guentzel – Sidney Crosby – Rickard Rakell

Drew O’Connor – Evgeni Malkin – Bryan Rust

Colin White – Lars Eller – Valtteri Puustinen

Jansen Harkins – Noel Acciari – Jeff Carter


Pairs rotated. Shea played both the right and left sides.

Power Play

As expected, Letang took the top spot on the top power-play unit.

PP1: Kris Letang-Evgeni Malkin-Sidney Crosby-Jake Guentzel-Bryan Rust

PP2: P.O Joseph-Rickard Rakell-Lars Eller-Valtteri Puustinen-Jeff Carter

By indications, it doesn’t sound like Karlsson will be out for any time. So, Letang will likely go back to PP2 and Joseph will cede the PP2 spot.

The Penguins face the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.

Mike Sullivan, Grandfather

So, what will Sullivan be called when new granddaughter Emerson Grace can speak?

“I really don’t have (a name) right now. My guess is Emerson Grace will probably decide when she wants to call me,” Sullivan said with a beaming new grandfather smile.