The Pittsburgh Penguins run of back luck continued Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. Midway through the first period, Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist was felled in front of the Winnipeg net when he was hit in the left leg by a shot.
Hornqvist went down immediately and skated off the ice. However, he skated off the ice in a hunched position and was only able to push with one leg. Hornqvist stayed on the bench momentarily but soon left for the locker room.
The Penguins were playing with 11 forwards and seven defensemen because centers Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad were injured Saturday night. Hornqvist’s departure left the Penguins with only 10 forwards, which is the equivalent of three lines with an extra skater.
Like Malkin, Patric Hornqvist hoped to rebound from a subpar 2018-19 season. Last season, Hornqvist failed to score 20 goals in a full season for the first time in his career. He finished with 37 points (18g, 19a) in 69 games, though injuries slowed Hornqvist for much of the second half.
Hornqvist, 31, had two goals Saturday night after he was paired with Bjugstad. The pair were an effective combination last season, too. Hornqvist was paired with Sidney Crosby in the first game but the Penguins flatlined in a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres and head coach Mike Sullivan shuffled the lines the following day.
Tuesday night, Penguins forward Sam Lafferty and defenseman John Marino made their NHL debuts. Lafferty and Andrew Agozzino were emergency callups Monday. Should Hornqvist miss time due to the injury, the Penguins could make a third emergency recall.
As PHN detailed Tuesday, the third emergency recall could be one of their prized QMJHL prospects, Nathan Legare or Sam Poulin. Both were drafted in June and showed well in training camp. Each signed their entry-level contracts late in training camp.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now will update the story as additional details are available or Hornqvist returns to the game.