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Conference Final

Carl Hagelin of Penguins unlikely to face Senators in Game 1

Pittsburgh forward not expected to play because of lower-body injury

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Carl Hagelin could miss Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports, SN).

Hagelin participated in Pittsburgh's optional morning skate Saturday, one day after he joined the Penguins for practice. He did not play against the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round on Wednesday with a lingering lower-body injury.

Forwards Scott Wilson and Carter Rowney left the ice well before Hagelin, which makes it likely they will remain in the lineup with Hagelin sitting and forward Tom Kuhnhackl a healthy scratch for a second straight game.

 

[RELATED: Complete Penguins-Senators series coverage]

 

"We've got some moving parts," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We believe we have a lot of depth within our team and we can utilize guys in different ways to help our team win. So, all of these guys that have been in our lineup here throughout the course of the playoffs have played significant minutes for us during the regular season.

"They've all been a big part of this team's ability to get to this point. So, we believe, as a coaching staff, that we'll lean on all of these guys to continue to help us win."

The Penguins did not conduct line rushes during their skate. Where Hagelin would fit into the lineup if he does play is unclear.

Hagelin last practiced on a line Tuesday, when he skated as the fourth-line left wing with center Matt Cullen and Rowney at right wing. Wilson played in place of Hagelin on Wednesday.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Hagelin beats Holtby with a wrister

Rowney, a 28-year-old rookie, has not scored in seven career games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but was effective defensively against Washington on Wednesday.

"I think you try to bring your best game every night," Rowney said. "I don't think it's ramping up anymore now that the stakes are higher and more magnified. It's playoff hockey. It's an exciting time of year."

Since returning from a lower-body injury sustained against the Edmonton Oilers on March 10, Hagelin has one goal in five playoff games. He had 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 24 playoff games last postseason.

The Senators, who arrived in Pittsburgh on Friday, did not hold a morning skate. Any changes to their lineup remain unknown.

Defenseman Erik Karlsson is expected to play after leaving about five minutes into Ottawa's practice Friday. He has played despite two hairline fractures in his left heel sustained in late March.

Video: OTT@NYR, Gm6: Karlsson buries Ryan's slick dish

Karlsson said he always planned to leave the practice early after trying on a new pair of skates. He leads all defensemen in the playoffs with 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) and is averaging 28:56 of ice time through 12 games.

"You're always tired, but everybody does what they have to do to help the team win," Karlsson said Friday. "I did my part [against the New York Rangers in the second round], same as everybody else did theirs. Whether I played more than anyone else, I don't think that had anything to do with why we won the game."

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