Pittsburgh Penguins top goaltender Tristan Jarry participated in the team’s morning skate Saturday at PPG Paints Arena, and afterward coach Mike Sullivan confirmed that Jarry will start Saturday night against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
Jarry left Tuesday’s game at Anaheim after taking both a hit to the head and a puck to the face. The most recent update offered by Sullivan before Saturday was that Jarry’s test results were good but that his right eye was swollen shut, preventing him from playing. A quick look at Jarry with his mask raised during the morning skate did not reveal much if any lingering swelling.
Magnus Hellberg, serving as Jarry’s backup with Alex Nedeljkovic on injured reserve, replaced Jarry Tuesday, and the two combined on a shutout.
“We were pleased and certainly encouraged that all the testing came back positive and it was more just about the swelling in his eye. … We weren’t sure how long that was going to take,” Sullivan said. “We weren’t sure how flying four-plus hours (Friday) would affect that. So we had to wait and see.
“We certainly were encouraged (when) he came in today, he looked a whole lot better and his vision is fine. He practiced (Saturday) morning and he was fine. He feels really good. That’s certainly a relief from our standpoint.”
Jarry is 4-5-0 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.
Goaltender Joel Blomqvist, recalled to serve as Hellberg’s backup for Thursday’s win at Los Angeles, also was on the ice for the morning skate, making it three goalies, but that could change shortly.
Nedeljkovic skated early with goalie coach Andy Chiodo. Injured defenseman John Ludvig also skated before the rest of the team.
After a travel day home from California and no practice Friday, the Penguins held a full morning skate Saturday.
The lines and pairings looked like this:
Sidney Crosby-Jake Guentzel-Bryan Rust
Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Rickard Rakell
Drew O’Connor-Lars Eller-Radim Zohorna
Matt Nieto-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter
Ryan Graves-Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson-Erik Karlsson
Ryan Shea-Chad Ruhwedel
(P.O Joseph rotated on the third pairing)