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(UPDATED) Penguins Practice: Petry Ill, Pettersson Excused

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Practice 2/22/23

CRANBERRY — Jeff Petry and Marcus Pettersson, who make up the Pittsburgh Penguins’ No. 2 defense pairing, did not participate in practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex today.

Jeff Petry was sick, so we sent him home,” Mike Sullivan said, adding that Pettersson had been excused from the practice in advance.

Pettersson’s wife has been expecting to give birth, so that might be why he is missing.

It was not immediately clear whether Petry and/or Pettersson will be available for the Penguins’ game against Edmonton Thursday at 7:08 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena.

Injured forward Ryan Poehling also did not take part in today’s practice, but all other players — including injured defensemen Mark Friedman and Jan Rutta —¬†were present for it.

Crosby: It’s Hextall’s call

Sidney Crosby passed on a chance to opine on whether the Penguins should make a move before the NHL trade deadline March 3.

“I think that’s up to Ron (Hextall),” he said. “Ultimately, it’s up to us to go out there and perform. We’ve shown that we can be a pretty good team. I think everyone here believes in each other. That’s the main thing. It’s (Hextall’s) job to evaluate that see what he needs to do.”

Offense from defense

The Penguins have gotten 17 goals and 85 assists from members of their defense corps this season.

Sullivan said he believes the group is capable of making a greater contribution to the offense.

“We want our defensemen to be active offensively,” Sullivan said. “We want them to do it in a calculated way. Even though our defensemen don’t necessarily have numbers to suggest that they’re helping our offense, as far as a process standpoint and how we’re trying to play, they still help our offense.

“Maybe not necessarily on the scoresheet. Would it be beneficial if they could help us there? For sure. And the way to do that is putting pucks at the net and giving our guys an opportunity to create next plays. There are a lot of assists to be had. We put pucks at the net and somebody knocks in a rebound or gets a deflection goal, things of that nature.

“Those are areas where we can improve. Getting shots through from the blue line, so they don’t get blocked. Those types of skills, we can get better at. We work with our guys on a daily basis, with respect to this stuff. … We can definitely get more contributions from our blue line, but I also understand that just because it’s not necessarily quantified, they’re helping our offense.”

Personnel combinations

The Pittsburgh Penguins used the same forward lines and defense pairings as they did during their 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders Monday.

They were:

Guentzel-Crosby-Rakell

Zucker-Malkin-Rust

McGinn-Carter-Kapanen

O’Connor-Blueger-Archibald

Dumoulin-Letang

Joseph-Ruhwedel

(Friedman-Rutta)

No. 1 power play: Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Rakell, Guentzel.

No. 2 power play: Zucker, Carter, Rust, Kapanen, Joesph (replacing Petry)