Zach Aston-Reese managed to dress for all 57 games of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ injury-laden games this season. Only five total Pens can say that. However Aston-Reese won’t be playing against Toronto tonight due to an injury suffered in Sunday’s win over Detroit.
Coach Sullivan confirms that Zach Aston-Reese is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. pic.twitter.com/tDwzOafIl3— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 18, 2020
“Week-to-week” in Sully-speak (trademark pending) is worse than “day-to-day”. Yet not as bad as the dreaded “longer term”. Last year we once saw Patric Hornqvist back after nine days of being “week-to-week”. However, players have also missed north of a month being out with this diagnosis. In short, don’t expect to see Aston-Reese in the immediate future, but this won’t be a season-ending injury by any means.
With the bad news of ZAR came the good news that Dominik Kahun participated fully in the morning skate, was on a normal line and is an official “game time decision” that probably looks like all systems go.
#Pens workflow:— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) February 18, 2020
One would think when Kahun fully gets up to speed he might get a look back on the Evgeni Malkin line where he had success. Kahun’s last game was January 19th.
Hornqvist takes Aston-Reese’s spot on the Pens’ vaunted Buzzsaw line with Brandon Tanev and Teddy Blueger. That should be a fair substitution, and one that already found success when Tanev set Hornqvist up for a goal against Detroit after ZAR went down.
Toronto’s lines for tonight are also different than expected:
Leafs projected lineup in Pittsburgh (changes on third and fourth lines as well as on D):— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) February 18, 2020
*Liljegren looks to be out
Some new defensive pairs and Frederik Andersen hasn’t been great as of late. We’ll see if the Pens can take advantage of that. No surprises for Pittsburgh, who continues the goalie rotation, and will start Tristan Jarry tonight.