While captain Sidney Crosby was in Los Angeles taking part in the All-Star festivities, his teammates used the three-day break as a chance to get away, and in even make some life-changing gainz.
Defenseman Brian Dumoulin used the weekend as a chance to take the next step in his relationship with his girlfriend Kayla. Or I should say, fiancé.
"It's a special moment and one of the best days of my life," Dumoulin said of his proposal, which took place at a lighthouse in their native state of Maine. "It was good to get away and make it a special moment. It's something we'll remember for the rest of our lives."
Obviously, Kayla said yes.
"Everything went well. I was a little nervous going into it," Dumoulin laughed. "I couldn't be happier now."
CROSBY BACK IN THE FLOW
Even though he had an entire weekend of games and activities in Los Angeles with All-Star action, Crosby did not want to miss the team's first practice following the break. The late start time of 4 p.m. made that possible.
"I was able to get away quickly after the (All-Star) Game and it's nice that the practice was a little later," said Crosby, who arrived back in Pittsburgh around 1:30 a.m.
The coaching staff gave Crosby the option of taking the day off. Naturally, Crosby didn't take it.
"I'm getting ready for tomorrow's (game against Nashville)," Crosby said. "It starts back up again."
Head coach Mike Sullivan wasn't surprised by that decision.
"He wanted to skate today. That doesn't surprise me knowing Sid and how he approaches his job," Sullivan said. "He has an appetite to be the best. He chose to skate today, but we're going to try to find some ways moving forward to give him some time away."
The Pens returned to practice with an early evening session at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. The only absent players were centers Evgeni Malkin (lower-body) and Matt Cullen (foot). Defenseman Kris Letang (lower-body) did practice.
"(Malkin) is still rehabbing off ice, but he is making progress," Sullivan said. "He is feeling a lot better. We're hopeful to get him on the ice soon.
"(Letang) had a real good practice today. We'll see how he responds tomorrow, but he'll be a game-time decision."
Cullen, who suffered his injury on Jan. 16 against Washington, skated prior to the team practice.
Carter Rowney, who skated with Patric Hornqvist and Carl Hagelin, was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and defenseman Steve Oleksy was re-assigned.
"He's a very good two-way centerman," Sullivan said of Rowney. "He can play at both ends of the rink. He has some offensive instincts to his game. His overall game is pretty strong. We could utilize him in a number of different capacities."