Penguins pair up Justin Schultz, Marcus Pettersson on second day of camp |

Penguins pair up Justin Schultz, Marcus Pettersson on second day of camp

Seth Rorabaugh
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins’ Justin Schultz tries to move the Islanders’ Leo Komarov from in front of the net in the second period during game 4 of round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at PPG Paints Arena.

On the second day of the Penguins’ training camp in Cranberry on Saturday, the Penguins used a variety of defensive pairings during a scrimmage.

Few of them resembled anything that would be used in a regular season contest in 2019-20.

Massive veteran Erik Gudbranson skated with AHL mainstay Kevin Czuczman while Brian Dumoulin, virtually bolted on to the NHL roster’s top pairing, was with Calen Addison, a promising 19-year-old prospect who has all of three AHL games on his professional resume.

The day prior, Kris Letang, the franchise’s career leader in points by a defenseman, was teamed with David Warsofsky, a journeyman embarking on his third stint with the Penguins.

The only pairing in two days of scrimmages which does appear to be NHL-caliber was the duo of Marcus Pettersson and Justin Schultz.

Any use of them moving forward would be a relatively new experiment for the Penguins as they skated a combined 20 minutes of common five-on-five ice time together last season according to Natural Stat Trick. In contrast, Pettersson’s most common partnership was with Jack Johnson (376:54).

By the time Pettersson arrived in a December trade last season, Schultz was nearly two months into his recovery from an ankle injury, an ailment which ultimately kept him sidelined until mid-February.

Pettersson appears intrigued at the notion of skating with Schultz, one of the team’s top offensive talents on the blue line.

“I feel like we think hockey the same way,” Pettersson said. “Initially, good. We had a couple of minutes on the power play last year. I know it’s not the same thing (as five-on-five play) but you can see how the person moves when you can see him up close, where he likes to be and stuff. But we’ve got a great system, a system that we can lean back on. But initially, it’s good.”

The duo would offer an ideal scenario of pairing a right-handed defenseman such as Schultz with the left-handed Pettersson. It would also potentially provide a steady defensive presence in Pettersson which would allow Schultz to be aggressive offensively.

That doesn’t mean the offensive game is a domain Pettersson is prohibited from.

“We can both do that,” Pettersson said. “I feel like that’s how we both want to play. Not get over-enthusiastic and we both go at the same time, but if we can read off each other like that, I think we can both do that.”

Pettersson and Schultz’s team fell in Saturday’s scrimmage, 2-1. The winning team got goals from Jon Lizotte, a defenseman in camp on an AHL contract, and forward Jake Lucchini, an undrafted free agent signing. Veteran forward Dominik Simon scored the lone goal for the losing squad.

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.