The Pittsburgh Penguins reassigned defenseman Zach Trotman to the WBS Penguins Friday morning, according to Penguins GM Jim Rutherford. The move appears to open a space for Justin Schultz to play Friday night when the Penguins host the Arizona Coyotes at PPG Paints Arena. Schultz was activated from the injured reserve Friday morning after missing the last seven games with a lower body injury.
Trotman, 29, appeared in five games. He was a plus-1 after being called up to play against the New York Islanders on Nov. 21. Trotman played on the third pairing with Juuso Riikola Wednesday night in the Penguins 3-0 shutout win over the St. Louis Blues.
Schultz is an integral figure on the Penguins blue line as the point on the power play and a minutes eater on the second pairing with Marcus Pettersson. The Penguins should have their top five defensemen available as Jack Johnson was also a full participant in practice Thursday after missing the previous game with an illness.
Schultz has eight points (2g, 6a) in 21 games this season.
Johnson skated on the top pairing with Kris Letang in practice on Tuesday. Schultz figures to resume play with his typical partner, Marcus Pettersson. John Marino will likely pair with Chad Ruhwedel or Juuso Riikola on the third pairing. Riikola is the Penguins’ lefty reserve.
The Penguins have points in nine consecutive home games. In addition to Schultz, winger Bryan Rust is also a game-time decision and was a full participant in practice on Thursday. Rust has 17 points (9g, 8a) in 14 games this season and has been a dynamic offensive spark for the team.
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