Penguins’ Sidney Crosby returns to practice
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby returned to practice at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury over the past weekend.
During the first period of a 3-2 shootout loss at home to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, Crosby was stuck in the left foot by a shot and left the game.
Other than indicating he felt good, Crosby was tight-lipped on the particulars of his ailment. He did fault himself for getting hit by the puck shot by hard-shooting Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella.
“I was trying to get out of the way and it caught me,” Crosby said. “That happens. Either I should face it and block it or get out of the way. One of the two.”
Crosby declined to address a question on his availability for Thursday’s season-opening contest at home against the Sabres.
Forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Bryan Rust did not participate in practice. Galchenyuk has not worked with his teammates since participating in a morning skate Sept. 25 due to an undisclosed injury. Galchenyuk skated prior to practice. Coach Mike Sullivan indicated there is hope Galchenyuk will practice with the team Wednesday in Cranberry.
Rust has been sidelined since Saturday’s game when he blocked a shot with his left arm and immediately left the ice. He is expected to begin the regular season on long-term injured reserve.
Goaltender Casey DeSmith cleared waivers and remains on the NHL roster. He did not participate in practice, which began at 11 a.m., an hour before the NHL’s 24-hour waiver period expired. The team has not officially decided if he will be assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League or if he will stay on the NHL roster.
During practice, the Penguins displayed some vastly different lines and pairings, presumably due to the absences of Galchenyuk and Rust. Juuso Riikola, a defenseman, skated on the left wing of the second line in place of Galchenyuk.
Their lines and pairings:
59 Jake Guentzel – 87 Sidney Crosby – 72 Patric Hornqvist
50 Juuso Riikola – 71 Evgeni Malkin – 13 Brandon Tanev
19 Jared McCann – 27 Nick Bjugstad – 24 Dominik Kahun
12 Dominik Simon – 53 Teddy Blueger – 46 Zach Aston-Reese
8 Brian Dumoulin – 58 Kris Letang
3 Jack Johnson – 4 Justin Schultz
28 Marcus Pettersson – 44 Erik Gudbranson
2 Chad Ruhwedel – 6 John Marino
The NHL’s deadline to submit a season-opening roster is at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .