Forward Matt Cullen was the only expected player missing from practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex on Tuesday, and head coach Mike Sullivan said he will be out approximately 3-4 weeks after taking a shot off his foot in Monday's 8-7 overtime win over Washington.
Eric Fehr filled in for Cullen during line rushes, and Sullivan praised the veteran's versatility at being able to slot in where needed.
"I think that's one of the strengths of his game," Sullivan said. "That's one of the things he brings to the table to help this team. We can use him in those different types of roles. He's a versatile guy. He's a penalty killer. We can use him in a checking capacity and that's how we've used him to this point. He gives us those options."
Defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who suffered a broken jaw on Dec. 27 in New Jersey when an errant shot hit him up high, joined the team for practice wearing a green no-contact jersey and a full face shield.
"Obviously that's a big step that he joined the team in practice today," Sullivan said. "Was in a limited capacity, but he's certainly getting a lot closer. We'll see how he goes. We'll get him involved in a few more practices and the final step obviously is the full contact and we'll take it from there, but that's an encouraging step forward for him."
Dumoulin said afterward he felt fine out there, saying he doesn't think it's anything he can re injure by just skating.
"It's just a matter of waiting for a clearance from a doctor in order to be able to play and make sure it's fully healed, so if it gets hit again then it'll be safe," Dumoulin said.
Dumoulin underwent surgery the day after that game and was given a timeline of 4-6 weeks for recovery, being placed on long-term injured reserve.
"It's good to get out and practice today with the guys, but I don't know if it is a matter of getting enough practices in or just being cleared from the doctor," he said of where his timeline stands now. "I think it's going to be a little bit of both. Obviously the sooner the better, but I'm hoping that it's fully healed."
For now, Dumoulin's just happy to be back around the team and is looking forward to joining them on their two-game road trip through Montreal and Carolina.
"I was out for a long time," Dumoulin said. "The team was on the road, so I was missing those. I was missing the guys and being around them. I've been skating on my own for a little while now, but it's good to be back out with the guys and be back with them."
Here's how the line rushes looked…
Dumoulin skated on the third D pair with Steve Oleksy. The others remained the same as they were last night…