Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has provided an update on the team’s injuries. He shared that Noel Acciari will travel with the team on their upcoming three-game road trip. The centerman is not yet skating after suffering a lower-body injury, but Sullivan doesn’t expect he’ll miss much time. Sullivan also shared that Matthew Nieto will not join the team on the road trip, while Rickard Rakell and Chad Ruhwedel are returning to the ice and will join the trip.
Nieto and Acciari are both in their first year with the Penguins and have both appeared in 22 games so far. Acciari has managed a modest two goals and three points, also recording four penalty minutes and a +4. He also ranks third among the team’s centermen in faceoff percentage, winning 52.2 percent of the 224 faceoffs he’s taken this season. Nieto has tallied one goal and four points on the year, adding a +5.
The two depth forwards currently rank last on the Penguins in CF% (Corsi-For percentage) and xGF% (expected-goals-for percentage), showing their struggles through the early season. Acciari, 32, is a veteran of 406 NHL games after signing with the Boston Bruins as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Nieto, 31, was a second-round selection in the 2011 NHL Draft and has appeared in 673 NHL games.
Rakell, who could see a return to action soon, has played in 17 games of his own this season, recording four assists, but is still looking for his first goal of the year. The 30-year-old winger is coming off of a 28-goal, 60-point performance last season – his first full year with the Penguins. Pittsburgh could also get back veteran defender Chad Ruhwedel, who has been with the Penguins since the 2016-17 season. Ruhwedel has appeared in 15 games this season, netting one assist and a -3.