Penguins forwards Sidney Crosby and Zach Aston-Reese join morning practice

Penguins forwards Sidney Crosby and Zach Aston-Reese joined their teammates for a morning practice session at Cranberry on Saturday.

Both players took part in rushes online and on the defensive team as “defenders,” alternating with defenseman Mike Matheson in a fourth matchup. Neither is scheduled to play in Saturday’s preseason final, a road game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

It was the first time Crosby had participated in morning practice or practice since training camp opened on September 23. He had been sidelined since undergoing left wrist surgery on September 8. The team had initially proposed a minimum period of six weeks. for recovery.

“He’s on schedule,” Sullivan said. “This indicates progress. This is obviously his first (morning skating) to join the group. I would expect more of this in the future. We are really encouraged by the progress he has made so far. … He’s in great shape. … He is making real encouraging progress. It’s great for our team when he’s back on the ice. Our team had a bit of a jump in their gait (for the morning skate). He just has that influence on the band. Everyone is excited that he is getting closer.

Sullivan said he tentatively expects Crosby to travel with the team for his season opener road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning (October 13) and Florida Panthers (October 15) in order to train with the group.

Aston-Reese joined his teammates on the ice for the first time since the team announced he had tested positive for covid-19 on September 27. He had trained on Friday with skating and skills development coach Ty Hennes.

“Now it’s just a matter of re-acclimating him to the training environment, of being with the group,” Sullivan said. “He felt a lot better today than yesterday, which is really encouraging. But we’ll be watching him every day and continuing to advance him to a point of return to the game. Much will depend on how Zach reacts to the workload we give him. ”

Sullivan had previously described Aston-Reese’s symptoms as “mild”.

Remarks:

• Matheson joined the team after leaving practice earlier Friday due to an undisclosed illness which Sullivan said was not serious.

• Forward Jake Guentzel remains in heatstroke after the team announced he tested positive for covid-19 on Sunday.

“Jake continues to follow (NHL) protocol,” Sullivan said. “He continues to be asymptomatic. So that’s very positive from our point of view. But he’s still in the protocol. There is no change there.

• The lines and pairings of the team were:

43 Danton Heinen – 77 Jeff Carter – 17 Bryan Rust

16 Jason Zucker – 9 Evan Rodrigues – 42 Kasperi Kapanen

23 Brock McGinn – 53 Teddy Blueger – 49 Dominique simon

ten Drew O’Connor – 11 Brian Boyle – 18 Sam lafferty

8 Brian Dumoulin – 58 Kris letang

28 Marcus Pettersson – 6 Jean Marin

52 Mark Friedman – 2 Chad Ruhwedel

• The higher power play unit included Carter, Kapanen, Letang, Rust, and Zucker. The second power play unit involved a combination of Heinen, Marino, O’Connor, Pettersson, Rodrigues and Simon.

• Goalkeeper Tristan Jarry is expected to play the entire game.

• Forward Michael Chaput and Juuso Riikola were not present. The two players are currently on waivers. They will know if any teams have claimed them at 2 p.m.

• According to the team’s website, the Blue Jackets’ projected lines and pairs are:

29 Patrik Laine – 42 Alexandre Texier – 93 Jakub voracek

14 Gustav Nyquist – 96 Jack Roslovic – 28 Oliver Björkstrand

38 Boone Jenner – 34 Cole Sillinger – 16 Maxi Domi

59 Eric Robinson – 7 Sean Kuraly – 59 Yegor Chinakhov

22 Jake Bean – 2 Andrew Peeke

44 Vladislav Gavrikov – 27 Adam boqvist

43 Miikko Lehtonen – 6 Gavin Bayreuther

• Goalkeeper Elvis Merzlikins will start for the Blue Jackets.

Follow the Penguins throughout the season.

Seth Rorabaugh is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .



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