Penguins dress Juuso Riikola on left wing with Jared McCann sidelined |

Penguins dress Juuso Riikola on left wing with Jared McCann sidelined

Seth Rorabaugh
Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola appeared in 37 games as a rookie last season.

Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola made his season debut against the Avalanche at PPG Paints Arena on Wednesday, just not where his position designates him.

With forward Jared McCann sidelined due to an undisclosed injury, the Penguins promoted forward Sam Lafferty from the right wing of the fourth line to the second-line center role.

Forward Adam Johnson slid from left wing to right wing on the fourth line while Riikola skated on the left wing of the fourth line. Riikola warmed up with Johnson and center Joseph Blandisi prior to Wednesday’s game.

A healthy scratch through the first six games of the season, Riikola has occasionally practiced on left wing throughout the preseason as well as the early stages of regular season as a result of the Penguins’ multitude of injuries throughout their forwards ranks.

As a rookie last season, Riikola appeared in 37 games and scored five points (two goals, three assists).

In addition to McCann, who is considered day to day and missed Tuesday’s practice, forwards Nick Bjugstad, Alex Galchenyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust are on injured reserve.

Defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Chad Ruhwedel were healthy scratches.

Follow the 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
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