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Justin Schultz, Patric Hornqvist could return for Penguins in Game 7

Coach Mike Sullivan says 'it's reasonable' that injured defenseman, forward might be available to face Senators

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

OTTAWA -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz and right wing Patric Hornqvist could return from injury to play in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Before the Penguins flew back to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, coach Mike Sullivan said "it's reasonable" to expect Schultz or Hornqvist might be available Thursday. Each player has an upper-body injury.

Schultz, who has not played since being injured on a hit by Senators left wing Mike Hoffman in the first period of Game 2, appears closer to being ready. He was with Pittsburgh in Ottawa but did not play in a 2-1, Game 6 loss on Tuesday. He also participated in warmups prior to a 7-0 win in Game 5 on Sunday.

Hornqvist, who hasn't played since leaving during warmups for Game 2, remained in Pittsburgh with defenseman Chad Ruhwedel (concussion) and right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (lower body) on Tuesday but has been skating on his own.

Sullivan has expressed optimism that Schultz and Hornqvist would be able to return during the series.

Schultz had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games before he was injured after setting NHL career highs with 51 points (12 goals, 39 assists) in 78 games during the regular season. Hornqvist has seven points (four goals, three assists) in 13 playoff games after getting 44 points (21 goals, 23 assists) in 70 regular-season games.

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