CRANBERRY, Pa. -- The Penguins are down two more forwards for the time being.
Both Patric Hornqvist and Alex Galchenyuk were absent from the Penguins' practice at the Lemieux Complex on Wednesday and are dealing with lower-body injuries, Mike Sullivan said after practice.
The team later recalled forward Adam Johnson from Wilkes-Barre and placed Galchenyuk on injured reserve to clear a roster spot. If another forward is needed, the next likely candidates are Joseph Blandisi, Sam Miletic and Anthony Angello.
Hornqvist's absence wasn't much of a surprise, after he left Tuesday night's game in the first period after he was struck by a puck. Galchenyuk, however, finished the game and showed no indication he was injured. Sullivan said that Galchenyuk's injury isn't new, and is something he's been dealing with "for a little bit." It's presumably the same lower-body injury that kept him out toward the end of Penguins training camp and the preseason.
The two join Bryan Rust, Evgeni Malkin, and Nick Bjugstad on the growing list of injured Penguins forwards just three games into the regular season.
With Hornqvist and Galchenyuk out on Wednesday, the Penguins used some interesting forward line combinations in practice.
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Dominik Simon
Brandon Tanev - Jared McCann - Dominik Kahun
Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Sam Lafferty
Chad Ruhwedel - Andrew Agozzino - Juuso Riikola
Yes, that's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton call-up Andrew Agozzino on the fourth line, centering two defensemen, Chad Ruhwedel and Juuso Riikola.
With three regulars on the top power play unit now out, the Penguins used the setup of Justin Schultz at the point, Dominik Simon in the slot, Jake Guentzel in front of the net, Sidney Crosby on the right and Kris Letang on the left.
At the rate guys are dropping, the Penguins are on pace to end up with a top line of Nailers — Renars Krastenbergs - Yushiroh Hirano - Jan Drozg — by approximately next week.
"It's a great opportunity for people to step up and show what they can do," Sullivan said of the Penguins' injury situation. "When teams go through the injury bug, like it's hit our team right now, we've got to pull together and find ways to win games. We believe that this group is still capable. We still have enough firepower in the lineup every night, and it's going to provide some real good opportunities for other guys to step up and play more significant roles."
MORE FROM PRACTICE
• The defense pairings rotated during practice, but they were primarily the same as they were last game.
Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson - Justin Schultz
Jack Johnson - Erik Gudbranson - John Marino
• The second power play unit featured Agozzino, Riikola, Marcus Pettersson, Dominik Kahun, and Jared McCann.
• With the Penguins' injury list what it is, Brian Dumoulin is wearing an "A" on the front of his sweater for the time being.
"I think he has great leadership skills," Sullivan said of the decision. "He's shown it through his day-to-day leadership that we see and witness in the locker room every day. He wore an 'A' last night because he was deserving of it."
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