Pittsburgh Penguins winger Dominik Kahun did not practice with the team Friday at PPG Paints Arena, throwing the team’s forward line combination into flux – something that has become nearly a daily occurrence in a season marked by injuries.
The relatively positive news from the Penguins’ perspective is that Kahun does not seem to be seriously hurt.
Coach Mike Sullivan, while hesitating a bit and sounding as if things are still a little unclear, said of Kahun, “Right now his status is just day to day. We’ll take each day as it comes. We’ll see how he is (Saturday). He’ll be a game-time decision.”
The Penguins host the Buffalo Sabres in an afternoon game Saturday.
Kahun left Thursday’s 4-0 loss at Toronto with an apparent left leg or knee injury after blocking a shot. He had to be helped off the ice, which made Sullivan’s description Friday something of a surprise, one the team can embrace.
Kahun had a slow start to the season, his first with the Penguins, but has settled in well and has 10 goals, 27 points in 50 games.
Kahun, in just his second game back from a concussion, was playing on Evgeni Malkin’s line. Malkin was back after missing the front end of the home-and-home with Toronto as a late scratch because of illness.
So it goes with the Penguins and their more than 250 man-games lost this season.
The Penguins already were without injured forwards Jake Guentzel, Nick Bjugstad and Zach Aston-Reese and defensemen Brian Dumoulin and John Marino.
Anthony Angello filled in for Kahun on the Malkin line at practice Friday.
The lines and defensive pairs, which could be used Saturday against Buffalo if Kahun can’t play, looked like this:
Jason Zucker-Sidney Crosby-Domonik Simon
Anthony Angello-Evgeni Malkin-Bryan Rust
Jared McCann-Andrew Agozzino-Patric Hornqvist
Brandon Tanev-Teddy Blueger-Sam Lafferty
Jack Johnson-Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson-Justin Schultz
Juuso Riikola-Chad Ruhwedel