Slowly but steadily, the Penguins have been getting some of their defensemen back and it appears one more return is on the horizon. Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that Marcus Pettersson practiced today without contact restrictions and could be available to suit up against Washington on Tuesday. The 24-year-old logged over 19 minutes per game on the back end last season and would be a welcome addition to a Pittsburgh back end that is still without Brian Dumoulin and Juuso Riikola.
Still with the Penguins, goaltender Casey DeSmith was unavailable for a second straight day due to illness. Maxime Lagace is up from the taxi squad for the time being to serve as Tristan Jarry’s backup.
More from the East Division:
- While Devils center Nico Hischier remains on the CPRA list, there is some good news on his front. Corey Masisak of The Athletic relays (Twitter link) that head coach Lindy Ruff indicated that if it wasn’t for Hischier’s placement on the list, he’d be available to play. That’s notable since the 22-year-old has not yet played this season due to a leg injury sustained back in December. He’ll be a welcome addition over likely the next few days to a New Jersey lineup that sits 24th in goals per game this season.
- The Rangers could soon be getting defenseman Jack Johnson back in their lineup. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that the veteran, who has missed the last three weeks with a groin injury, could resume practicing at some point this week. Meanwhile, fellow blueliner K’Andre Miller missed practice today with an upper-body injury and is questionable for Tuesday’s contest against New Jersey. The rookie has made an immediate impact this season and has four points in 13 games while averaging 19:34 per game, second-most among all first-year players.