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Penguins Practice: Rakell Skates Early; Zucker Participates

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Pittsburgh Penguins Rickard Rakell
Rickard Rakell skates before Penguins practice.

After sustaining a hard hit that left him woozy and escorted off the ice in Game 1, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Rickard Rakell skated Friday morning with skills and conditioning coach Ty Hennes.

As much as can be discerned from Penguins practice Friday at PPG Paints Arena, the team’s lineup Saturday could remain the same. Or not. As it turns out, the practice was optional, so line combinations and defense pairings could not be determined.

Game 3 of the team’s tied first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers Saturday in Pittsburgh.

One thing that did stand out was the lack of injured players. Only second-line winger Jason Zucker practiced.

Rickard Rakell skating:

The injury list also includes top-pairing defenseman Brian Dumoulin, No. 1 goaltender Tristan Jarry and No. 2 goaltender Casey DeSmith. None were on the ice.

Jarry and Zucker came into the series injured. Jarry, who has a suspected broken foot, reportedly is out of his orthopedic boot.

Zucker was a game-time decision for Game 2 Thursday, so it was something of a surprise he did not play. Coach Mike Sullivan said only that that circumstance indicated that Zucker is close to returning.

We hope to get updates on all injured players after practice from Sullivan, who also was not on the ice.

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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Mark Miller
Mark Miller
7 months ago

Can someone explain why the league did not even look at this hit, especially when a guy is that woozy and does not come back? They are fining guys for cross checking, and yes I know that the ny guy who hit rakell was out too, but a high hit, seems a little on the edge.

Paul
Paul
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark Miller

You know, New York . . .

PensPatty
PensPatty
7 months ago

Casey De Smith had core muscle surgery this morning….he’s out for the duration….

Ujn Hunter
7 months ago

Glad to see Rakell on the ice… I figured he had a concussion for sure… so just being on the ice skating is a good thing. DeSmith out with core muscle surgery… hope Jarry can come back soon… while I have faith that Dominque can keep us in this… I don’t like having an ECHL backup sitting on the bench… :\

Rich Filardi
Rich Filardi
7 months ago

So is Rackell in concussion protocal or is it a neck injury-like whiplash effect thats keeping him out?

Jack hood
Jack hood
7 months ago
Reply to  Rich Filardi

I would assume it’s protocol, but it could also be a neck injury.

Alan Smith
7 months ago

The league office is a joke! Charging goalies and diving on them afterwards is acceptable! Maybe electrify the crease and shock anyone in the zone?

William Maloni
William Maloni
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Smith

I like it!

David
David
7 months ago

I thought Dominque was average in game 2, with a couple of great saves, and one or two goals that might have been played better. But he was not, and will not be, the problem. The problem is special teams and no secondary scoring. The Pens are not going to win this series unless that changes — let alone any series beyond. The series is now a best of 5 with home ice advantage belonging to the Pens.

Last edited 7 months ago by David
Paul
Paul
7 months ago

Zuck is year-to-year, according to my sources.