Center Evgeni Malkin and goaltender Casey DeSmith, who were ill Monday and did not practice, were back on the ice Tuesday at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ morning skate at PPG Paints Arena. Center Sidney Crosby, also sick Monday, was not. However, it seems likely they all will be available Tuesday night for a home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Malkin and DeSmith were part of a very lightly attended skate. The only other players at the skate were defensemen P.O Joseph and Chad Ruhwedel. Emergency backup goaltender Mike Chiasson also was on the ice, something that has been common in recent weeks.
Crosby was at the arena and was doing some off-ice stickhandling work.
UPDATE: Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said that while Malkin, Crosby and DeSmith were game-time decisions, the Penguins “anticipate they will play.”
Sullivan confirmed that Tristan Jarry will start in goal.
Defenseman Kris Letang, a little more than a week after he had a stroke, and forward Ryan Poehling, who has an upper-body injury, skated before their teammates with assistant Ty Hennes, the same as they did before practice Monday.
Sullivan ruled Poehling out for the game against the Blue Jackets, meaning Danton Heinen is expected to slot back in after being a healthy scratch lately. If the three players who were ill play as expected, the Penguins will have a full contingent for the game.
Of Heinen, Sullivan said the Penguins “just want him to bring consistency shift in and shift out and just focus on the details, things like wall play on the breakouts and decisions with the puck through the neutral zone, being hard on pucks in the puck battles. When Danton does those things, I think he’s a real good player for us,”