CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The Penguins held an optional practice Wednesday, coming off their 4-3 loss to Washington in Game 3 of a second-round playoff series. The first player on the ice was injured winger Carl Hagelin in his full facial protection contraption.
Hagelin was in a yellow jersey, not an obvious non-contact jersey, but he noted afterward that he has yet to take any contact, which doesn’t bode well for a return for Game 4 of the series Thursday. There wasn’t any contact in the optional, which started a little early and lasted less than 45 minutes.
Hagelin did say he was feeling better. It was hard to tell visually given his hamburger lip, and Hagelin would not divulge how many or if any of his teeth are missing.
The timing for a Hagelin return would be good if it’s possible for Game 4 because winger Zach Aston-Reese is out because of a broken jaw and concussion, but the indications are leaning against Hagelin coming back that quickly.
Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang are the most prominent players among the 11 who took the ice. Among the missing were Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Matt Murray, Jake Guentzel and Patrick Hornqvist. Hornqvist was on the ice in shorts, T-shirt and athletic shoes for a few minutes beforehand.
“You just see how you feel,” Crosby said of deciding to practice. “Everyone plays different minutes and things like that, has different things they’re going through. It just goes day by day and see how you feel.
“It’s good to be out there, especially after a game if there are things you want to work on. When there’s a lower number of guys, you get to do a little bit more out there sometimes. Sometimes you can get a little bit more work done.”
The Capitals held an an optional skate at PPG Paints Arena.