Unlike the Boston Bruins, who have breezed past the competition this season even without their second line center, the Pittsburgh Penguins have had to fight just to hold their heads above water as they deal with injuries. Some of that is coming to an end however, as today the Penguins activated both Alex Galchenyuk and Brian Dumoulin from injured reserve.
Add in a returning Evgeni Malkin before long and the Penguins are close to full health as they enter November. The team currently sits at 7-5 on the season but find themselves out of a divisional playoff spot in the tough Metropolitan.
Galchenyuk, 25, was off to a strong start with his new team before injury struck, recording two assists in his first three games. The former 30-goal scorer was acquired in the offseason in the Phil Kessel trade and has big expectations as a top-six winger. Originally selected third overall in 2012, Galchenyuk has scored at least 17 goals in each of the past five seasons and can be a difference-maker on the powerplay.
Dumoulin meanwhile is expected to jump back onto the top pairing alongside Kris Letang and reclaim his position as the team’s Swiss army knife. The 28-year old can do a little bit of everything for the Penguins, including move the puck and play the powerplay when required. Still one of the more underrated players in the league despite his strong play in consecutive Stanley Cup runs, his return to the lineup may be as important as anyone else. The Penguins have gone 1-3 since his injury but will try to get back on track tonight against their state rival Philadelphia Flyers.