Some fantastic news for Pittsburgh Penguins fans just minutes ahead of puck drop on an obviously pivotal Game 7 against the New York Rangers. Sidney Crosby, Rickard Rakell, and Tristan Jarry are all in the lineup after dealing with injuries.
The news is monumental for the Penguins, who greatly missed the presence of all three players in Game 6.
Crosby was injured in Game 5 on a controversial hit from Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. Prior to the hit, he had a stellar nine points in five games. He returns to center the top line between Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, who have both performed well in this series. Crosby was sidelined with reported concussion symptoms after the hit, however, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported this morning that Crosby did test negative for a concussion.
Rakell, the team’s big trade deadline acquisition, was injured after playing just 4:28 in Game 1’s triple-overtime win. With 13 points in 19 games down the stretch in Pittsburgh, he proved he could be an impactful scorer for them. He’ll fill out the top six on a line with Evgeni Malkin and Kasperi Kapanen.
Jarry is potentially the biggest piece to return, though. Not having played for a month, Jarry comes in to replace third-string netminder Louis Domingue, who had performed admirably but struggled in Games 5 and 6. They’ll rely on Jarry to exorcise last year’s playoff demons and deliver for them in a big way tonight.
It’s not all good news, however. Assistant coach Mike Vellucci, whose main areas of emphasis are the penalty kill and the forwards, entered COVID protocol and is unavailable for the game.