The Pens will get a huge boost this afternoon when they host the Arizona Coyotes at CONSOL Energy Center.
Forwards Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist will return to the lineup after missing the past two weeks with injuries.
“Both of the them are ready to play so they’ll both be in the lineup,” Johnston said.
The Pens will go with their original top-6 plan of David Perron-Sidney Crosby-Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz-Malkin-Blake Comeau.
In some unfortunate news, Johnston’s mother, Sheila Margaret (Mickey) Johnston, passed away Friday in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia at the age of 81. The funeral will be held Tuesday.
Johnston will coach in both Pens’ games this weekend and then travel to Nova Scotia for the funeral.
“I’ll head back there in the beginning of the week,” Johnston said. “Right now, I’m just focused on the game.”
Johnston has received an outpouring of sympathy over the past 12 hours since the news broke.
“I’m a fairly private person so not a lot of stuff comes forward,” Johnston said. “When it came out you hear from quite a few people. It was nice to hear from people back home in Nova Scotia and people we’re close to here in Pittsburgh.”