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Penguins High-Tempo Practice Limited by COVID, Malkin Update, Kapanen in Protocol (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Brian Boyle, Evgeni Malkin

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen was added to the COVID protocol bringing the number to seven, plus P.O. Joseph, a member of the Penguins Taxi Squad. Sam Lafferty was out with an illness. Evgeni Malkin tried a few one-on-one moves in battle drills, and Sidney Crosby walked defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in a mano-e-mano matchup. Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan kept the pace near 100mph, and Skills Coach Ty Hennes could be heard barking for most of the 75-minute practice.

Don’t worry, Chad. More than a few defensemen have turned to chase No. 87.

Kapanen positive test and Lafferty’s absence altered head coach Mike Sullivan’s practice plans. He admitted they wanted to do more 5v5 work, more game action drills, but the numbers didn’t allow it.

Never one to take a break or not push others, Crosby devised a plan for his unit in the 5v5 drill. Crosby huddled his linemates, including Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, and set in motion the play that created an open shot from the point. Defenseman Mark Friedman pushed it wide to get a deflection, but even the best-laid Crosby plans can go awry.

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