With the Pittsburgh Penguins playing the biggest game of the year tonight at PPG Paints Arena, you can excuse head coach Mike Sullivan for being a tad stingy with lineup details. When asked about the status of two key injured players, Justin Schultz and Patric Hornqvist, Sullivan said only that they’d both be a game-time decision.
While that proclamation may not seem like huge development, it’s a stark contrast to the bad news that Sullivan has had to dole out so far this postseason. The fact that he’s not precluding the chance for either to play is a statement in itself.
If the Pens do get Hornqvist back in the lineup, he’ll provide a boost up front for a team that has struggled in close games against the Sens so far this series. The team has missed Hornqvist’s willingness to go to the net and dig the puck out from the corners. In Schultz, the team has missed a minute-munching defender with the skill and ability to lead the Penguins breakout and provide them with a legitimate power play quarterback.