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Penguins Practice: Carter On The Ice, Zucker Sick

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Pittsburgh Penguins practice

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have been plagued by injury and illness – and a suspension – this season, apparently dodged another absence. Center Jeff Carter was on the ice Friday for practice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

On the flip side, winger Jason Zucker was not on the ice. This might have been a maintenance day for Zucker, who scored Thursday in a 4-0 win over Boston.

Update: Head coach Mike Sullivan reported that Zucker has a non-COVID illness and will travel with the team to Detroit and Philadelphia.

Carter twice left Thursday’s 4-0 win over Boston late in the game. He returned the first time, but not the second. Coach Mike Sullivan said Carter was being evaluated for a lower-body injury.

Carter, who has 18 goals, 42 points in 72 games this season, presumably will be available to play road games this weekend at Detroit and Philadelphia. He has manned the third-line center role, the second-line center role and played some on the wing.

We hope to get an update on Zucker from Sullivan after practice. It could be a maintenance day for Zucker, who had core muscle surgery earlier this season.

Penguins regular second-line center, Evgeni Malkin, is eligible to return Saturday at Detroit after serving a four-game suspension for a crosschecking incident.

Malkin was on the ice for practice Friday.

As expected, goaltender Tristan Jarry, who has a suspected broken right foot, was not at practice.

Without Zucker, the lines and pairings looked like this:

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Rickard Rakell

Evan Rodrigues-Evgeni Malkin-Bryan Rust

Danton Heinen-Jeff Carter-Kasperi Kapanen

Brian Boyle-Teddy Blueger-Brock McGinn

Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang

Mike Matheson-Chad Ruhwedel

Marcus Pettersson-John Marino

Nathan Beaulieu-Mark Friedman

 

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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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Frank
Frank
7 months ago

Maybe not possible but seems to me the team could put out a brief release before practice as to who would be at practice and who would not and why. Sullivan could always expand after practice. It sure would take speculation out of the mix pending the end of practice. The cloak and dagger of hockey injuries is a bit overdone.

Ryan
Ryan
7 months ago

Swap Blueger & McGinn with Carter & Kappy.

Martin Straka
Martin Straka
7 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Swap Carter and Zahorna/O’Connor