SUNRISE, Florida - Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from Pittsburgh's Friday afternoon practice…
1. Injury updates
The Penguins held practice on Friday afternoon at BB&T Center. Forward Bryan Rust and defenseman John Marino were the only two expected players absent from participation.
Marino left Thursday's game in Tampa Bay late in the third period after a Steven Stamkos shot was deflected and struck Marino in the cheek.
"John Marino is being further evaluated for precautionary reasons," head coach Mike Sullivan said.
Rust was given a maintenance day. He also had a maintenance day for Wednesday's practice, but suited up for Thursday's game.
2 McCann returns to Florida
Penguins forward Jared McCann is back in Florida to face his previous employee the Panthers on Saturday night. While McCann has already played against the Panthers in the BB&T Center, it still hits any time he returns to the area.
"The first (game) I was more nervous. Now I feel comfortable," McCann said. "I used to live in Fort Lauderdale and seeing all the restaurants that I used to go to after games is pretty cool.
"I'm very thankful to Florida for the opportunity they gave me. I have nothing but good feelings here."
McCann played two-plus seasons with the Panthers from 2016-19. He was traded to Pittsburgh on Feb. 1, 2019 along with Nick Bjugstad. In the past year he has grown as a player and as a Penguin.
"It only took me a couple weeks last year (to get comfortable). It was an amazing experience," he said. "Now that I'm here in Pittsburgh I love it. Everybody has been great.
"I'm very thankful to be here."
The Penguins used the following workflow…
The Penguins rotated Letang and Schultz with the top unit. The remaining four were as follows…
PP1: Crosby, Malkin, Hornqvist, McCann
PP2: Pettersson, Simon, Aston-Reese, Galchenyuk