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Penguins Report: Medical Update

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins received some positive news at Saturday’s afternoon practice when they learned that Sidney Crosby, Rob Scuderi and Kris Letang may rejoin the team for its nationally broadcast matinée matchup with the New York Rangers at Mellon Arena on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC.

The Penguins pulled off a gutsy 3-1 victory over Anaheim Friday night with nine regular players out of the lineup.

Forwards Pascal Dupuis, Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Zigomanis and defenseman Sergei Gonchar were already placed on the injured reserve list. The team lost forwards Crosby and Maxime Talbot and defensemen Scuderi and Letang against Washington on Wednesday. Then Brooks Orpik joined the growing list after suffering an undisclosed injury in the Ducks’ game.

Penguins head coach Michel Therrien said that all three players will be game-time decisions. Dupuis, Orpik and Talbot did not practice and will not play against New York.

Crosby suffered a lower-body injury after colliding awkwardly along the boards with Washington's David Steckel. He practiced for the second straight day and will be a game-time decision.

“It felt good; we’ll see tomorrow and go day-by-day,” Crosby said. “I’m kind of on the fence right now. We’ll see with the swelling tomorrow. It’s easier to judge so I’ll have a better idea.”

“Sidney looked not too bad today,” Therrien said. “We have to be really cautious. His decision tomorrow will be a game-time decision. If he wakes up and comes to the rink (and) feels good, he’ll play. If he doesn’t feel good, we’ll wait.”

Because the game is being played in the afternoon, there will not be a morning skate for either team. Thus, Crosby said he will skate in the team’s pre-game warm-up to test the injury.

“That’s what it’s going to come down to,” Crosby said. “There were a few things I didn’t feel great at (today) but that is a part of injuries and stuff like that. I still need to make sure I’m comfortable playing a game.”

Scuderi practiced for the first time Saturday after he was hit in the face with a Mike Green wrist shot. The puck hit Scuderi on the forehead above his right eye. The bruise swelled to the point where he couldn’t see out of his right eye.


“The vision has been good even right after it happened,” said Scuderi, who couldn’t open his eye until Friday morning. “It’s more the swelling from the bruise itself. It pushes down into your eye. The only thing that’s a question is any pain around it and maybe a minor headache that’s still lingering. I feel pretty good. I’m just going to go talk to the team doctors and our trainers and see how I feel.”

Scuderi, who doesn’t wear a face shield, will be wearing a half-shield on his helmet as a precaution to protect his eye from physical contact.

“I’m not a big fan of the half shield,” Scuderi said. “It’s kind of weird if you haven’t played with it before. (The bruise is) still sore and I don’t want to catch an elbow or some of the minor contact that happens in front of the net.”

Scuderi was killing a penalty when he dropped to the ice to block Green’s shot.

“I knew right away it wasn’t going to be a good situation,” Scuderi said. “I tried to get my hand up in front of my face. I saw the replay. I even tried to turn my head and I just couldn’t get out of the way in time. I consider it fortunate I got it off the forehead.”

Despite the injury, Scuderi said he won’t hesitate to block another shot if it will help the team.

“You can’t really change the way you play,” he said. “It was a weird play from the beginning. Usually a defenseman is not out that high on a penalty kill. It’s not something that I’ve ever done. It just kind of happened that way. Like I said, I’m not going to change the way I play, just maybe be a little more mindful of the situation.”

Now that Scuderi has gone through a normal practice, his status is in the hands of the Penguins' medical team.

“Everything goes through the trainers and the doctors,” Scuderi said. “I felt pretty good out there, no effects. My vision’s good. I can do everything. I’d like to play but we’ll see what happens.”

Letang wsuffered an undisclosed injury after blocking a shot. He participated in the team’s practice and said that he thinks he’ll go against the Rangers.

“Right now it felt pretty good on the ice,” Letang said. “I was trying to see if I can tolerate the pain. (The injury is) in a bad spot but it was not bad on the ice after 15 minutes when I was warmed up. It was pretty normal. We’ll see tomorrow.”

As for his status:

“Right now I would give my ‘Yes’ to the coach and we’ll see from there.”

> The Penguins pulled the trigger on a trade early Saturday afternoon, acquiring Edmonton netminder Mathieu Garon in exchange for goalie Dany Sabourin, forward Ryan Stone and a fourth-round pick in the 2011 draft.

While many of the Penguins are excited to welcome Garon to the team, they are equally disappointed having to say good-bye to their friend Sabourin.

“That’s the tough part about hockey,” Marc-Andre Fleury said. “You make close friends. Every day we were together and spent the past couple of years together. We’ve been good friends. We’re roommates on the road. It’s always tough to lose a friend like that.”

Sabourin was equally saddened by the transaction.

“It’s a good group of guys here,” Sabourin said. “It’s always tough when you have to change from one place to another one. Me and Flower had a good relationship. We’re good friends. It’s kind of a weird feeling when you know you’ve been traded. I hope the best is in the future.

“This is where I started. I played my first year with Vancouver but before that I was in Wilkes-Barre. I know all the guys in the organization. That’s hockey. You never know what’s going to happen.”

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