Courtesy of Point Park University

Sullivan’s lineup always a ‘game-time decision’


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Erik Gudbranson. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Penguins' morning skate prior to Friday's Game 2 matchup with the Islanders was highly optional.

Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz, Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust, Patric HornqvistPhil Kessel, and Matt Murray sat this one out.

Erik Gudbranson was again a full participant after also taking part in yesterday's practice -- an encouraging sign after missing some time towards the end of Game 1 after crashing into the boards. It definitely provided a scare, but Gudbranson was able to return later in the third period.

"When it first happened, I thought I was going to turn around, I thought my ankle was going to be facing the way it shouldn't be," said Gudbranson. "I definitely got lucky."

When Gudbranson was asked about his availability for tonight, he kept quiet.

"I'll let the coach talk to you guys about anything like that," he laughed.

Mike Sullivan, though, wasn't about to give any real answers as to whether or not Gudbranson would be available in Game 2.

"He looks great," Sullivan said of Gudbranson. "He had a good practice yesterday. All our players are game-time decisions at this time of year."

Murray's absence was a little curious, because he typically does take part in optional morning skates. Sullivan would not provide any updates on his status either, and he won't be doing so any time soon. "Never during the playoffs," he said.

Tristan Jarry took Murray's place in the skate. You can't read too much into Jarry's recall earlier this week. Wilkes-Barre is one point away from being eliminated from playoff contention with three games remaining in the season, and there are four other goaltenders currently on Wilkes-Barre's roster --  Anthony Peters (injured) and John Muse, the backups during the season -- along with Alex D'Orio joining on an amateur deal and Matt O'Connor, who was recalled from Wheeling. With just about nothing to play for at this point, those guys would have been getting the remaining starts down there anyway.

• The healthy scratches -- Jack JohnsonTeddy Blueger, and Zach Trotman -- all took part in the skate. Blueger remained on the ice well after the skate ended, making it seem likely that he will again be scratched tonight.

• Chad Ruhwedel skated, in a normal sweater, for his first full team practice since being injured. He's missed 20 games with an upper-body injury.


[caption id="attachment_804806" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Penguins practice, Uniondale, N.Y., April 11, 2019 - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

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