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Pens Report: 04.26.17

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

On Monday, head coach Mike Sullivan said they were hopeful that Carl Hagelin would return to the lineup at some point during the Second Round.

On Wednesday (following a day off on Tuesday), the winger got one step closer to that goal by joining team practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

"It was a lot of fun," Hagelin said. "Any time you're out for an extended time you feel joy being out there with the boys. It's a step in the right direction, for sure."

Hagelin had skated on his own both Sunday and Monday, and donned a yellow no-contact jersey for his session with the Pens this morning. He's certainly making progress, but has no timetable on his return.

"It's one of those things it's between me and the doctor and the team," Hagelin said. "But it was a good day today."

Hagelin has been sidelined since March 11 with a lower-body injury, missing the last 16 regular-season games and all five games of the First Round against Columbus.

"I think it's one of those things you never really know how long an injury is going to take," he said. "For me personally I just took it day by day, see how it was progressing and now I'm here and hopefully I'm playing here soon."

And wheenever he does return to the lineup, Hagelin doesn't foresee any issues with regaining his trademark blazing speed.

"I'm always a positive guy, I'm optimistic that when I'm back I'll be up to speed right away," he said.

Before this year, Hagelin had dressed for every single playoff game he was eligible for in the first six seasons in his career, a total of 97. He admitted it was tough to stay positive having to watch his team battle for the first time in his career, but

"It was hard," he said. "I haven't missed that many games (in my career), I missed over 20 games there in two months. It's hard but you've got to stay positive. The guys were playing great and it was fun to watch them."

* Goalie Matt Murray (lower-body) was the only player missing from practice. The Pens used the same lines that they did on Monday…

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