Here are the three biggest takeaways from Tuesday afternoon's practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex…
1. Injury updates
Winger Patric Hornqvist will be out of the lineup "longer term" with a lower-body injury, per head coach Mike Sullivan.
In some good news, defenseman Justin Schultz returned to team practice wearing a grey "no-contact" jersey. Schultz's has missed the past six games with a lower-body injury.
"I feel good. It's good to be out there with the guys again," Schultz said. "I'm just trying to get ready to get back into a game."
Schultz is unlikely to play Wednesday night when the Penguins host the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues at PPG Paints Arena. His next step would be to participate in full-contact practice.
"I think I'm really close," he said. "Hopefully, a couple more practices and I'll be good to go."
Schultz suffered the injury during one of the team's practices.
"It was something that just happened at practice. It was unlucky," Schultz said. "But I'm ahead of schedule so it's feeling really good."
Forward Zach Aston-Reese missed practice with an illness and Bryan Rust skated on his own in warmups prior to the team's practice.
2. Noesen introduction
The Penguins signed forward Stefan Noesen on Monday to an NHL contract. He had previously been playing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on an AHL-only deal.
Noesen joined the NHL's Penguins for Tuesday's practice and worked on a line with Alex Galchenyuk and Jared McCann.
"It was a goal that we set at the beginning of the year to do," Noesen said of signing the new contract. "It's been fun (in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton). The guys are great. It's been a good transition up here."
Noesen, 26, has played in 159-career NHL games with Anaheim and New Jersey. He attended Dallas Stars' training camp on a tryout this summer, but didn't make the club. He signed with Wilkes-Barre and worked his way into an NHL deal.
"The goal was to get back into the NHL. We thought we had a chance this summer (with Dallas)," Noesen said. "Obviously, that wasn't the case. I've never really been in a situation like this. It's fun. I enjoy it. It's like being a kid again. You get to have fun playing hockey."
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound winger has a great shot, plays with passion and is good in the defensive zone. Noesen racked up 14 goals, 22 points and a plus-8 with WBS this year. The 14 goals rank second in the entire AHL, while his 22 points are ninth.
"The reports have been very positive. He's been very good in Wilkes-Barre," Sullivan said. "We think he's a guy that can help us. We'll try to put him in a position to play to his strengths.
"Certainly, we're excited that we signed him."
Noesen credited WBS head coach Mike Vellucci with helping him make the jump to the NHL.
"Mike was a huge reason why I came to Wilkes-Barre and the Pittsburgh organization in general," Noesen said. "He told me he would do his best to get me back (into the NHL). And here we are."
The Penguins used the following workflow at practice…
First - Letang, Malkin, Guentzel, Galchenyuk, Noesen
Second - Riikola, Pettersson, McCann, Kahun, Blandisi