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Penguins Updates: Crosby, Rust, & Matheson OUT Saturday vs. Blackhawks

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Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins will not have Sidney Crosby or Bryan Rust on the ice for their home opener on Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at PPG Paints Arena.

Crosby is on the mend from September wrist surgery, and he has been practicing with the team, but it appears he is not yet ready for game action.

Head coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby skated with skills coach Ty Hennes earlier Saturday morning.

To begin the season, the Penguins earned three of four points on their two-game road trip. They zipped past the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 in the NHL season debut. Then rallied from a 2-0 deficit but squandered their own two-goal lead late in the third period in a 5-4 OT loss to the Florida Panthers.

Early in the third period of the Florida loss, Bryan Rust suffered an injury on an open-ice hit by Mackenzie Weegar.

Rust left the game and did not return.

Last season, Rust scored 22 goals–his second straight 20-goal season–and 42 points in 56 games. The 28-year-old forward is in the final year of his four-year, $14 million contract, which looks like an extreme bargain now.

Crosby has not yet played this season.

Defenseman Mike Matheson, who has not yet played this season after aggravating an injury last Tuesday morning during the morning skate before the season opener in Tampa Bay, was on the ice for the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, Matheson was a spectator in power play and penalty kill drills.

Matheson also skated with Hennes earlier Saturday morning. Sullivan said Matheson will also be out.

Sullivan indicated Zach Aston-Reese, recovering from COVID, would be a game-time decision.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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