UPDATED: Kulikov Out Week to Week; Poehling ‘Whole Lot Closer’
Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was absent for the Pittsburgh Penguins morning skate Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena, and he’s not expected to be back soon.
Coach Mike Sullivan revealed after the skate that Kulikov will be out on a week-to-week basis because of a lower-body injury.
Kulikov left Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers. His absence allowed P.O Joseph to get back into the top six for the skate and most likely for games.
Kulikov’s injury means two of the three roster players the Penguins brought in around the trade deadline are out on a week-to-week basis. Forward Nick Bonino is out after having a procedure for a lacerated kidney. Forward Mikhail Granlund is the only one of the three currently healthy, although he missed a game earlier because of illness.
“I just don’t think we have the luxury of frustration” about that, Sullivan said. “We’re trying to put a lineup on the ice every night that gives us the best chance to win. The reality is that injuries are part of the sport. … We’re going to fight through them as best we can.”
Forward Ryan Poehling, who has been dealing with a nagging injury and is eligible to come off LTIR, skated in a regular, contact jersey. He was not part of one of the four forward lines during line rushes, but Sullivan said Poehling has made progress.
“He participate in a full capacity. He’s had a couple of those now,” Sullivan said of Poehling. “That obviously represents significant progress. That’s his last hurdle before a return to play. He’s had a couple good practices. We’ll see how he responds. … We feel like he’s getting a whole lot closer.”
With a day off Monday, the Penguins held a full, rather than optional, morning skate Tuesday.
Goaltender Tristan Jarry is expected to start Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens.
The lines and pairings:
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Jason Zucker-Evgeni Malkin-Alex Nylander
Drew O’Connor-Mikael Granlund-Rickard Rakell
Danton Heinen-Jeff Carter-Josh Archibald
Marcus Pettersson-Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin-Jeff Petry
P.O Joseph-Jan Rutta
Alright P.O., time to raise your level and prove that you should stay in the lineup!!!