Will Pittsburgh Penguins rookie winger Kasper Bjorkqvist replace Zach Aston-Reese in the lineup Saturday when the New York Rangers visit PPG Paints Arena? It sure looked like it during a short practice Friday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Bjorkqvist, who practiced on the fourth line with Brian Boyle and Dominik Simon in the short session, was quick to make it clear he didn’t know whether he might play, but if he predicts he will be the same player observers saw in his first five NHL games in January.
He scored in his NHL debut on Jan. 2 against San Jose for his only point in those games. He said Friday that traveling with the club on a West Coast trip during that call-up was as valuable as the playing time.
“I got some experience up here. It helps. You’re getting more comfortable with the guys,” Bjorkqvist said. “That trip out West, (I) spent a lot of time with the guys.”
However, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan bordered on terse when asked about the possibility.