Patric Hornqvist a game-time decision for Penguins
Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist will be a game-time decision for Thursday’s contest against the Anaheim Ducks at PPG Paints Arena, according to coach Mike Sullivan.
Hornqvist was injured during Tuesday’s 4-1 home loss after being struck by a shot from teammate Kris Letang during the first period. He participated in the morning skate with few limitations.
In three games this season, Hornqvist has two goals.
A return by Hornqvist would buoy the fortunes of a team which has forwards Nick Bjugstad, Alex Galchenyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust on injured reserve.
It appears defenseman Erik Gudbranson will be a healthy scratch, however. The team’s largest player at 6-foot-5 and 217 pounds, Gudbranson was one of the final players to leave the ice from the morning skate and spent extra time working with coaches as well as regularly scratched defensemen Juuso Riikola and Chad Ruhwedel.
In three games this season, Gudbranson has no points.
Rookie defenseman John Marino left the ice earlier along with others expected to play.
• Matt Murray is expected to start in net for the Penguins.
•Penguins forwards Andrew Agozzino and Adam Johnson are expected to make their season debuts after being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier this week. Agozzino, 28, has no points in one AHL game this season. Johnson, 25, has two assists in one AHL contest.
Johnson appeared in six NHL games last season in late March and early April and recorded two assists. He suggested he’s a little more prepared for the NHL than he was last season.
“ I’m a little less nervous than I was last year coming in,” Johnson said. “It’s a little bit more comfortable now. I’m really excited to help this team get a win tonight.”
• John Gibson, a native of Whitehall, is expected to start in goal for the Ducks.
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .