Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist is out because of a concussion, coach Mike Sullivan told reporters after the team practiced Thursday in the Los Angeles area. It is his second concussion this season.
Hornqvist left Tuesday’s win against Florida after taking a puck to the face. There is no recovery timetable with such an injury.
“We’re always concerned when one of our players gets a concussion,” Sullivan said.
That puts the Penguins down two important wingers. In the third period Tuesday, winger Zach Aston-Reese left after being involved in a fight. He has been placed on injured reserve. Sullivan on Thursday described Aston-Reese as being out “longer term.” Speculation has centered on his right hand.
The Penguins open a five-game road trip Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.
Hornqvist has 10 goals, 25 points in 33 games. He can play on any line, is a regular on the top power play brings a high level of energy and gives the Penguins a strong net-front presence.
“We certainly miss him when he’s not in our lineup,” Sullivan said of Hornqvist.
He has had bad luck with injuries related to head. During warmups earlier this season, he took a shot that rang off the crossbar and clipped him in the face requiring stitches. That led to him wearing a helmet in warmups. Recently, he left practice after taking a puck to the chin that required stitches. He missed three games in November because of a concussion.
He also missed six games in December with an upper-body injury that was not a concussion.
As practice was winding down, defenseman Justin Schultz took the ice in warmup gear, according to reports. He is recovering from a broken left leg and began skating last week.
Without Hornqvist and Aston-Reese at practice, the lines and pairings looked like this (thanks, Josh Getzoff):
Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Tanner Pearson-Evgeni Malkin-Dominik Simon
Riley Sheahan-Derick Brassard-Phil Kessel
Garrett Wilson-Matt Cullen-Derek Grant
Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang
Olli Maatta-Jamie Oleksiak
Marcus Pettersson-Jack Johnson
Chad Ruhwedel-Juuso Riikola