Coming off of the Penguins 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday night, the team appears to be one step closer to getting a key offensive piece back in the lineup.
Having missed nearly 20 games with a lower body injury suffered against the Washington Capitals last month, Jason Zucker skated in a regular jersey.
Forward Jason Zucker, who has missed the last 18 games with a lower-body injury, is on the ice for Pens practice wearing a regular black jersey.— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) March 28, 2021
He then look line rushes on the second line in practice with Jared McCann and Evan Rodrigues and also saw time on the second power play unit in practice.
After practice, Mike Sullivan said Zucker’s status hasn’t changed yet, but said he appears to be “a whole lot closer to returning to the lineup.”
Zucker’s return would come at a much-needed time on the injury front, and a little bit earlier than initially expected.
Sullivan: Zucker's status is the same. Practicing in a full capacity today suggests he's "a whole lot closer to returning to the lineup." #Pens— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) March 28, 2021
Sullivan also discussed the status of Teddy Blueger and Brandon Tanev, saying they their status isn’t changed but they both skated Sunday morning and that Evgeni Malkin has yet to begin skating.
Sullivan: Zucker practiced full capacity today.— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) March 28, 2021
Blueger and Tanev skated with Ty Hennes this morning. They're status is the same.
Friedman skated with the taxi squad. Status is the same.
Malkin has not skated yet. #Pens
Lastly, Sullivan added that Mark Jankowski and Brandon Tanev are expected to come off of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list this evening.
Per Mike Sullivan, Mark Jankowski and Brandon Tanev are expected to be formally removed from the NHL's list of absences for covid-19 protocol tonight.— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) March 28, 2021
Tanev and Teddy Blueger skated before practice with skating/skills coach Ty Hennes.
Jason Zucker practiced in full capacity.