The Pittsburgh Penguins appear likely to get Patric Hornqvist onto the ice for Friday’s Game 4, set to play out in Tampa’s Amalie Arena.
Hornqvist was injured in Game 3 after blocking a shot with his hand. Thursday, coach Mike Sullivan told the media, “Hornqvist is being evaluated today. I don’t envision [his availability] being an issue.”
He didn’t participate in practice Thursday, but Sullivan’s comments make it sound like they’re just resting him to be sure he is ultimately available.
That’s good news for the Penguins, who looked dominant through stretches and could continue to use Hornqvist to allow their attack to roll four lines deep, despite the scoring struggles of Evgeni Malkin. Hornqvist’s ability to grind it out in front of the net has been key to moments with Sidney Crosby is being offensively productive.
He contributed 22 goals and 51 points during the regular season, and has put up nine points (6-3-9) through 14 postseason contests. During the regular season, he ranked fifth on the team in production behind Crosby, Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang. If you’re going to rank fifth on a team, that’s not a bad group to be pulling up the rear on.
Pittsburgh enters Game 4 coming off a 4-1 Game 3 win with a 2-1 series lead.
It has been made official. Hornqvist will be in the lineup for Game 4, according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.