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Penguins notebook: Hagelin sits against Devils; Penguins recall Sestito

| Sunday, March 6, 2016, 9:39 a.m.
USA Today Sports
Flames right wing Brian McGrattan (16) and Canucks left wing Tom Sestito (29) fight on Dec. 29, 2013, at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta.

NEWARK, N.J. — Carl Hagelin did not play Sunday as a precaution after taking a hit to the head the day before.

Hagelin accidentally was elbowed by Calgary's Josh Jooris while falling to the ice in the first period of the Penguins' 4-2 loss to Calgary on Saturday. He went to the locker room for medical attention but returned to finish the game.

After Saturday's game, coach Mike Sullivan said only that Hagelin received stitches. On Sunday, Sullivan went into more detail.

“He went through the concussion protocol yesterday. Passed it. Had no problems with it,” Sullivan said. “Woke up this morning and didn't feel well. No headaches. Nothing like that. Nothing significant, but just didn't feel right.

“Our medical staff thought it was best, for precautionary reasons, to hold him out.”

Sestito debuts

With Hagelin out and Josh Archibald being returned to Wilkes-Barre after receiving 5 minutes, 2 seconds of ice time in his NHL debut Saturday, the Penguins had two new forwards in the lineup Sunday. Tom Sestito made his Penguins debut and Conor Sheary was back after his fourth call-up of the season.

Sestito, 28, gives the Penguins a heavyweight enforcer for the first time this season.

The Penguins recorded six fighting majors in their first 64 games. Scott Wilson, with two, was the only player with more than one fight.

Sestito, who led the NHL with 19 fighting majors for Vancouver in 2013-14, had five fights in 32 games with the Baby Pens this season.

He said he thinks he has found fewer fights than in the past because players who would be in his weight class have been marginalized into part-time performers in the modern game, even at the AHL level.

“It's kind of nice to see, just so I don't have to do anything with those big idiots on the other side,” Sestito said last month.

Sestito had an eventful first period in a Penguins uniform.

About eight minutes in, he and Devils agitator Jordin Tootoo lined up next to each other on a faceoff and appeared to be talking about a fight.

When the faceoff took place, the puck popped toward them, distracting Sestito but not Tootoo, who threw a barrage of punches before his opponent could drop his gloves.

Evgeni Malkin scored on the power play that followed to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

“I thought Tommy did a real nice job,” Sullivan said. “You can see the physical presence he brings to our team. He brings a dimension. He had an impact on the game.”

And Schultz, too

After skating with the team since Thursday morning, newly acquired Justin Schultz also made his Penguins debut, taking the place of Derrick Pouliot among the team's top-six defensemen.

He joined the rush on several occasions and assisted on Bryan Rust's third-period goal.

“These guys are pretty talented up front,” Schultz said. “Any time I get the chance to jump up and help them out, I'm going to do that.”

Schultz was also a plus-2, a change from the minus-78 he amassed in 248 games with Edmonton before the trade.

“He was on the right side of people,” Sullivan said. “He has a good stick. We'll continue to work with him on that aspect of the game, but for his first game with us, we were real pleased.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter at @BombulieTrib.

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