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Hornqvist Likely To Return vs. Caps for Penguins

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Pittsburgh Penguins Patric Hornqvist, Casey DeSmith, NHL expansion draft
Patric Hornqvist

It looks as if hard-nosed winger Patric Hornqvist and his (almost) patented net-front presence is expected to return from an upper-body injury Wednesday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins face the Capitals in Washington.

Hornqvist has missed the past six games.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan called Hornqvist a game-time decision, but noted that the winger looks probable.

Hornqvist and injured winger Dominik Simon (lower body) were on the ice for the Penguins morning skate. Hornqivst skated in line rushes on the third line with Tanner Pearson and Derick Brassard, and he practiced with the top power-play unit. Simon did not participate in line rushes.

Both injured wingers were wearing regular, full-contact jerseys.

The Penguins on Tuesday returned J.S. Dea to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League and placed Garrett Wilson on waivers, most likely to be able to also send him to WBS. Those moves are an indication that Hornqvist and/or Simon were seen as very close to returning, although Wilson remains with the club and participated in the morning skate.

Goaltender Matt Murray is expected to start, which makes it look even more like the Penguins are going to stick to a rotation between Murray and Casey DeSmith for now.

The Penguins lines and pairs, according to reports from Washington:

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust

Zach Aston-Reese/Evgeni Malkin-Phil Kessel

Tanner Pearson-Derick Brassard-Patric Hornqvist

Riley Sheahan-Matt Cullen-Garrett Wilson

Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang

Olli Maatta-Jamie Oleksiak

Marcus Pettersson-Jack Johnson

Juuso Riikola-Chad Ruhwedel

Washington’s expected lineup, thanks to Isabelle Khurshudyan:
Ovechkin-Backstrom-OshieVrana-Kuznetsov-WilsonConnolly-Eller-DSP

Jaskin-Dowd-Boyd

Kempny-Carlson

Orlov-Niskanen

Siegenthaler-Bowey

Holtby

Burakovsky, Stephenson and Lewington will be the scratches.

Former Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, who is recovering from athroscopic knees surgery, skated at the Capitals morning skate in a non-contact jersey but is not expected to play.

 

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Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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