Pittsburgh Penguins top-line winger Bryan Rust did not participate Wednesday at the team’s morning skate at PPG Paints Arena and will not play Wednesday night against the New York Rangers. Rust on Tuesday was being evaluated for a lower-body injury, and coach Mike Sullivan’s update is that Rust is day-to-day.
The Penguins’ lineup for Wednesday’s game against the visiting New York Rangers is far from clear due to the injury status of several other players.
Forwards Jansen Harkins and Alex Nylander, who were recalled Wednesday after Rickard Rakell and Chad Ruhwedel went on IR, participated in the optional skate and could be in the lineup.
Nylander, who was a strong candidate to make the opening-night roster, said time with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has been productive.
“Really getting my game going down there, playing a lot of minutes, so it’s been great,” said Nylander, who has five goals, eight points in 11 games for WBS. “Just been working on the things that they needed me to work on, and, obviously, happy to be back up here.
“Just working hard without the puck and getting the puck back, stuff like that.”
Winger Matt Nieto, who had a maintenance day Tuesday for the second time recently, and defenseman Dmitri Samorukov, who was signed Wednesday, also were on the ice. Sullivan said Nieto is available to play Wednesday.
Defenseman John Ludvig, who was officially recalled from a conditioning assignment in the AHL Tuesday but has been practicing with the Penguins, participated. He is still officially on long-term IR because of a concussion. but that could change before game time.
Ludvig confirmed that he is fully healthy — “100 percent,” he said — and he also doubled down on not changing his game, which means he won’t back off from physical play even though he got hurt making a big hit in his NHL debut Oct. 24.
“It was sort of how I was raised,” Ludvig said. “My dad played in the NHL, and he sort of brought me up that way, with hard-nosed parenting, you could say. So I’ve had that since I was a kid.”
The others who participated in the morning skate were forward Radim Zohorna, defenseman Ryan Shea and goaltenders Tristan Jarry and Alex Nedeljlkovic.
Jarry will start, Sullivan said.
“The unique part of it is we’ve dealt with a number (of injuries) in a short period of time,” Sullivan said of the avalanche of injuries and new faces the team has seen just since Sunday night. “We work through it just like we work through every other scenario. When injuries occur, it provides opportunities for others to step up, and there’s going to be some opportunities for some players to make an impact. I think that’s something that they should get excited about.
“We believe we have depth throughout our organization at all the positions.”