The Pittsburgh Penguins, who are heading into an extended break, on Sunday sent three players to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League — winger Valtteri Puustinen and defenseman Ryan Shea on regular reassignments, and defenseman John Ludvig, who was loaned on a conditioning assignment.
Presumably, Puustinen and Shea are heading to WBS to get playing time while the Penguins are off until Feb. 6 because of a bye week and the All-Star Game weekend.
Puustinen has been playing steadily, but the rookie’s assist Saturday in the Penguins’ 3-2 win over Montreal was his first point in 11 games. He has one goal, eight points in 21 games. After being in the top six, he was moved to the third line recently. However, he has seen time on a revamped top power-play unit the past couple games.
Shea has been the odd man out among defensemen and has not played since Dec. 8. He has no points in 22 games.
Ludvig has not played since Dec. 21 and has been on LTIR because of an upper-body injury, but he was eligible to be activated Saturday and has been skating for several days. It would seem likely that he will be ready to return to the Penguins lineup after the break, should they choose to dress him.
He has one assist in 19 games but provides a physical edge that the team otherwise lacks on the blueline.