CRANBERRY, Twp — For another day, the Pittsburgh Penguins were not healthy. And dog bites man. Death. Taxes and political debates. As the Penguins gathered for their practice 24 hours after losing to the New York Islanders in Game 1 of their Round One series, it appears center Evgeni Malkin is no closer to joining the team. And Brian Dumoulin was not on the ice for practice.
Malkin again did not participate in line rushes and skated only briefly before practice. The star center took a few laps before practice, showed a little bit of hop, then knelt in the corner in stretches.
Jeff Carter again centered the Penguins’ second line with Jared McCann and Kasperi Kapanen, just as he did in Game 1. Carter set up Kapanen for the game-tying goal late in the third period, which forced overtime.
The Penguins power play units also excluded Malkin, who appeared to be an on-ice observer, often kneeling along the wall or standing near the bench as drills continued.
The Penguins lost to New York 4-3 in OT and trail their Round One series, 1-0.
Perhaps even more bad news for the Penguins injury woes. Top-pair defenseman Brian Dumoulin was absent from practice on Monday. Dumoulin blocked a shot with his skate on Sunday. He finished the game but did not score well in the PHN Report Card.
“Dumo was a maintenance day,” head coach Mike Sullivan said.
Without Dumoulin, different defensemen rotated through the rushes and drills with Kris Letang. Without Mike Matheson late in the regular season, Mark Friedman played a few games, and Chad Ruhwedel took the regular-season finale against Buffalo.
Both Ruhwedel and Friedman are right-handed, but the depth LHD is Juuso Riikola, who was not part of the main practice.
Dumoulin missed 15 games this season after missing most of last season, too. This season, the Penguins were 8-7-0, but when Dumoulin returned on March 6, the Penguins won five straight.
Dumoulin, 29, is the counter-balance to Kris Letang and has been an integral part of the Penguins top pair for several seasons.
Also at practice, Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry worked on drills specifically aimed at the goals he allowed in Game 1.
Jarry was torched for four goals on 41 shots, but three of the goals were similar; they were longer-range wrist shots through screens. Kyle Palmieri, Brock Nelson, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau beat Jarry from outside the dots.
It was Jarry’s first Game 1 start in his career. His first playoff game was the Pittsburgh Penguins Game 4 Qualifying Round loss to the Montreal Canadiens last August. Montreal shut out the Penguins 2-0. Jarry allowed only one goal in a stellar performance, but he was a little bit less than stellar on Sunday.
Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith did not participate in practice. Maxime Lagace again served as the second goalie in the Penguins 25-minute practice.
The defensemen rotated without Dumoulin, so we don’t have a good read on who will slot in if Dumoulin cannot play in Game 2. The Penguins coaches have struggled for two seasons to replace Dumoulin on the top pair, trying a cavalcade that has included Jack Johnson, John Marino (RHD), P-O Joseph, and others in shorter stints. Surprisingly, LHD Marcus Pettersson has not played much with Letang, but the pair did not click earlier this season in Dumoulin’s absence.
Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:
? – Letang
Evgeni Malkin Practice:
Malkin participated in a few drills after practice, including the two featured below. You can decide how Malkin looks.
“His status is still day-to-day. He’s a game-time decision,” Sullivan said. “He practiced with us today, and we’ll take each day as it comes.”