The Pittsburgh Penguins have officially activated Jason Zucker from injured reserve and have listed him as a game-time decision for their contest tonight against the New York Islanders. Zucker is returning much quicker than many had anticipated when he went down with a lower-body injury in late-February but will be a welcome addition to the Penguins lineup.
Now 29, Zucker has just seven points in 17 games for Pittsburgh this season but is coming back at the perfect time. The team has moved Evgeni Malkin to long-term injured reserve retroactive to March 16 meaning he will miss at least six more games. Drew O’Connor and Jonathan Gruden have also been moved to the taxi squad.
- Another East Division team got some good injury news, as Nico Hischier has resumed workouts and cardio activity after his recent sinus fracture. There is still no timetable for Hischier’s return, but Devils head coach Lindy Ruff expressed some optimism for the young forward, saying he is “progressing” in his recovery. Hischier underwent surgery to repair the fracture on March 15 and was given a three-week timeline, meaning he is still expected back early next month.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs will have Michael Hutchinson in net tonight as they try to limit the workload for Jack Campbell, who has taken over starting duties in Frederik Andersen’s absence. Toronto has been very tight-lipped when it comes to Andersen’s injury, but Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet writes that the team does not currently believe that it is season-ending. Of course, if it were to keep Andersen out the rest of the regular season, the Maple Leafs would have some added cap flexibility through long-term injured reserve. Friedman suspects the front office has “a move or two in his back pocket” for when the cap numbers work. Andersen hasn’t played since March 19.