Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker may be lucky, pending how you view head coach Mike Sullivan’s prognosis of Zucker’s injury.
On Tuesday night, during the Penguins 3-2 OT win over the Washington Capitals at the Capital One Arena, Zucker careened into the boards with his legs folded awkwardly. The Penguins’ second-line LW writhed in pain and had to be helped off the ice.
Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins said Zucker was sent back to Pittsburgh for further evaluation.
On Thursday morning, Sullivan pronounced Zucker out “longer-term” with a lower-body injury. Recent Penguins who were out “longer-term” include Marcus Petterson, who was out approximately three weeks, and forward Evan Rodrigues, who has been out for over one month and remains off the ice.
It remains a nebulous term.
This season, Jason Zucker has seven points (4g, 3a) in 17 games. He played on the Penguins’ second line with Evgeni Malkin from the beginning of training camp through his injury on Tuesday night.
The Pittsburgh Penguins may lose one LW with top-six ability but gain another. Forward Jared McCann skated as a full participant in the Penguins morning skate on Thursday morning at Capital One Arena. According to the team, McCann wore a non-contact jersey in the past couple of skates but was in a regular sweater on Thursday.
McCann suffered a lower-body injury two weeks ago. He will not be available to the Penguins on Thursday, but his rehab could end soon at the current pace.
McCann would likely fill the Penguins second-line LW spot beside Malkin. Currently, Zach Aston-Reese is skating in that position, though Aston-Reese has had success with the Penguins third line centered by Teddy Blueger. Aston-Reese played on a line with Blueger and Brandon Tanev nearly all of last season, too.
The Penguins finish their two-game set against the Washington Capitals on Thursday.