The injuries just keep piling up for the Penguins.
Forward Patric Hornqvist is the latest player added to the injured list as head coach Mike Sullivan announced on Tuesday that the veteran forward will be sidelined “longer term” with a lower-body injury that he sustained in practice on Monday.
That brings the current list of injured Penguins to Hornqvist, Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust, Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz, and Nick Bjugstad. That is more than $30 million in salary cap space out of the lineup and has put a significant dent in the team’s lineup.
The injury situation forced them to sign veteran forward Stefan Noesen to a two-way contract on Monday, while assistant coach Mark Recchi was skating as roster filler in practice the past two days.
Their line combinations for Tuesday’s practice were a far cry from what the team expected to be using at this point in the season. Or at any point in the season.
Aston-Reese missed practice due to an illness.
Crosby, Bjugstad, and Schultz have been sidelined for a couple of weeks, while Rust, who is still day-to-day, was injured in a morning skate on Friday before their game in Columbus.
Dumoulin exited Saturday’s game in St. Louis after playing just one shift. He will be sidelined for at least eight weeks.
Schultz returned to practice in a non-contact jersey on Tuesday but is not quite yet ready to return to the lineup.
The injury situation is so absurd right now that you could assemble a five-man lineup (Crosby, Rust, and Hornqvist at forward; Dumoulin and Schultz on defense) that looks better on paper than almost any other five-man unit the team can actually use on the ice.
The Penguins are back in action on Wednesday against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues (NBCSN, 8 p.m. ET), a white-hot team that has won four in a row and just defeated the Penguins 5-2 over the weekend.