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Penguins no longer at full health: Patric Hornqvist out “longer-term”

It’s a lower body injury for the Pens’ net-front guru

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins finally had a full, healthy squad for their game Saturday against Edmonton, but that will be the one and only game they can say that for a while as bad news came out of practice today.

Patric Hornqvist will be out for a while, being played on injured reserve means he must miss a week, which isn’t too bad. The more ominous language used is “out longer-term” as a description. That’s the same terminology placed on Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad earlier in the season and those veterans were out for multiple weeks. Accordingly, expect Hornqvist to be sidelined for at least a few weeks.

That will be another blow to the power play that’s in an 0-for-20 slump to not have the team’s best net-front player available. But at least Hornqvist, who has suffered five concussions in the last five years has a lower body injury and isn’t going through another head injury. That zapped him last year when he returned and only scored three goals in the last 39 games he played. Hornqvist rebounded to score 10 points (5 goals +_5 assists) in the first 14 games of this season.

The Penguins are pretty deep though, and slid Dominik Kahun into the lineup. Kahun scored three points on Wednesday against Philadelphia before being a healthy scratch on Saturday.

Here’s how the lines looked:

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Dominik Simon

Alex Galchenyuk - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust

Jared McCann - Nick Bjugstad - Dominik Kahun

Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Brandon Tanev

These lines look pretty good. The coaching staff has been impressed, rightfully so, with the fourth line, which was a major reason they elected to scratch a skilled winger in Kahun over a grinder like Aston-Reese or Tanev.

In other news, a Pens player missed practice because he was at the hospital, but it’s not because he got bit by a spider like the last time a Pens player was in the hospital.

The team should be leaving for a road trip starting Long Island later on today, so we’ll see if Brian Dumoulin will be meeting up for them in time for the game tomorrow night or if he will miss a game for paternity reasons. Juuso Riikola was a placeholder for Dumoulin, which suggests that Dumoulin may not miss game time, but babies don’t exactly abide by the NHL schedule so we’ll wait and see on that one.