After a day off and a day with just a off-ice workout, the Pittsburgh Penguins returned to practice Tuesday, and there were a couple personnel tidbits of note.
Evgeni Malkin was centering Jason Zucker and Bryan Rust at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. In other words, he was back in his normal spot, despite the fact that Malkin has one more game to serve of a four-game suspension and won’t be available to play Thursday when the Boston Bruins visit PPG Paints Arena.
In addition, Brian Dumoulin was back on the top defense pairing with Kris Letang. Those two have a long history of playing together, but lately, Mike Matheson has skated alongside Letang.
Also, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, a trade deadline addition, joined his new teammates for the first time, albeit wearing a white, presumably non-contact jersey. Beaulieu was already on LTIR when the Penguins picked him up. He has not played since early March because of a lower-body injury.
No one was absent.
Keep in mind that after a couple days off the ice and another practice scheduled for Wednesday, the Penguins, with their four-day break between games, have the luxury of looking at some different things, perhaps having a longer practice than usual and preparing for when Malkin returns.
There are only five games left in the season. The Pittsburgh Penguins have clinched a playoff spot, but their placing — third in the Metropolitan Division or a wildcard spot — has not been wrapped up.
Here is how they stacked up at practice:
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Rickard Rakell
Jason Zucker-Evgeni Malkin-Bryan Rust
Danton Heinen-Jeff Carter-Kasperi Kapanen
Evan Rodrigues-Teddy Blueger-Brian Boyle/Brock McGinn
Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson-John Marino
Mike Matheson-Chad Ruhwedel
Nathan Beaulieu-Mark Friedman