Coach Sullivan provided injury updates at today’s practice.
Patric Hornqvist was diagnosed with a concussion and Zach Aston-Reese will be out longer-term with an upper-body injury.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 11, 2019
The injury came during the second period of Tuesday’s contest against the Florida Panthers. Hornqvist took a puck to the face after a shot by Mark Pysyk. He left the ice holding his mouth and did not return for the remainder of play. The club has not placed him on injured reserve yet, but he is unlikely to take the ice Friday when the Pens take on the Anaheim Ducks. This marks the fifth documented concussion for Hornqvist since 2014. The winger returned from his latest concussion toward the end of November. Although he typically rebounds pretty quickly, he has an alarming medical history and that could begin to wear on him.
What this means for the future
After Hornqvist exited Tuesdays 5-1 victory over the Panthers, Zach Aston-Reese slotted into his space on the second line. Unfortunately, Aston-Reese also made an early exit after a scrap with Colton Sceviour. He is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, most likely a hand injury as a result of the fight.
With the two players out, the Pens have recalled Garrett Wilson from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The captain dressed for 14 games with the Pens earlier this season, where he tallied two assists. At the AHL level, he’ s netted eight goals and ten assists in 18 games.
Derek Grant is another candidate to slot within during their absence. He has been a healthy scratch for the past four games. The forward owns two goals and three assists for five points in 22 NHL games this season.
Both players are capable of filling the void left as the Penguins gear up for a handful of away games. The five-game West Coast road trip begins Friday as the Pens take on the Ducks.
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