The Pittsburgh Penguins injury list is not getting shorter, at least not yet. Penguins center Mark Jankowski was absent from the morning skate on Saturday morning before the Penguins face the New York Islanders at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday night.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan addressed the litany of injuries and Jankowski’s absence. According to the Penguins coach, the team will know more about Jankowski on Saturday afternoon.
Though it should be noted Sullivan did not specifically say Jankowski is injured.
Penguins winger Jason Zucker skated with the team in a non-contact jersey on Saturday morning.
“Zuck skated with the team. He skated with the taxi squad before,” Sullivan said. “He’s making really encouraging progress. He’s that much closer to a return to play.”
This season, Zucker has seven points (4g, 3a) in 17 games.
However, Brandon Tanev, who was a game-time decision last week, skated with Skills Coach Ty Hennes on Saturday morning.
Penguins center Teddy Blueger is also making progress, too. Blueger skated with Tanev and Hennes on Saturday morning. It marks a step forward in Blueger’s recovery. The Penguins listed Blueger as out “longer term.”
“Those guys are making progress,” Sullivan said. “(Tanev) will not play (Saturday).”
Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman skated with the taxi squad on Tuesday. The Penguins acquired Friedman off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers last month. Friedman scored his first NHL goal against the Flyers on March 4. He played only two games with the Penguins and suffered injuries in the same game in which he scored.
“Jankowski did not skate this morning. He was unavailable,” Sullivan said. “We’ll have more on his status this afternoon.”
Jankowski would be the third Penguins center out of the Penguins lineup as Blueger and Evgeni Malkin are out of the lineup. Both Malkin and Blueger were injured last week against the Boston Bruins.