Jason Zucker already missed one practice this week with a maintenance day. He played a full game against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night but was absent from Pittsburgh Penguins practice again on Monday.
However, the Penguins welcomed Bryan Rust, Jake Guentzel, and Brian Boyle back to practice at the UPMC Lemieux Complex, though all three wore the white non-contact jerseys. And, Evgeni Malkin somewhat surprisingly, returned to the white sweater after practicing in the black on Saturday.
Update: Pittsburgh Penguins Head coach Mike Sullivan said Zucker again took a maintenance day. He didn’t have a progress update on Malkin, Rust or Guentzel other than the players are cleared for non-contact participation.
This season Zucker has 10 points (4-6-10) in 30 games.
Rust, 29, has been out since suffering a lower-body injury against Vancouver on Nov. 24. This is the second extended absence for Rust who missed a couple of weeks at the beginning of the season with another lower-body injury.
In 12 games, Rust has nine points (2-7-9). His contract expires after this season, but there has not yet been progress towards a new deal.
Guentzel has nursed a (presumably) injured hand since Dec. 6 when he blocked a shot with his hand in the Penguins 6-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Guentzel, 27, has 27 points, including 15 goals in just 24 games this season.
Before his injury, Guentzel was on a 13-game scoring streak with 19 points (12-7) in that span, including three points against Seattle.
Malkin had knee surgery in early June. His initial prognosis was a six-month absence.