Pens Notes: Update on Jarry, other injuries as team preps for Caps

Goalie has upper-body injury with key division game Thursday night

Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry was a sudden late scratch before Tuesday’s 7-6 OT win over Florida.

Following the game, Mike Sullivan indicated that Jarry had an upper-body injury.

On Wednesday, the Penguins were without their top goalie as they readied for Thursday night’s game in Washington, and Sullivan was able to shed a little more light on what is ailing the Penguins' goaltender.

“(Jarry) is not going to play until after the (All-Star) break,” said Sullivan. “We’ve got two games left. He’s dealing with an upper-body injury and we think that’ll be productive time for him to be at his best.”

Sullivan said he was unsure when the injury to Jarry occurred, whether it was during the team’s morning skate Tuesday or prior to that.

Jarry has missed time recently after suffering a lower-body injury in the Winter Classic on January 2. He missed 18 days before returning to the lineup on January 20, posting a 44-save gem against Ottawa.

But now, Jarry — who missed six of Pittsburgh’s seven playoff games a year ago — is again on the shelf until at least February 7. And while it doesn’t seem like he’ll miss a large amount of game action, not having their top netminder has become a problem for the Penguins.

The 27-year-old is 16-5-5 this season with a 2.65 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.

His backup, Casey DeSmith, is 7-9-3 with a 3.34 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.

Pittsburgh did recall Dustin Tokarski from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wednesday morning, and he took Jarry’s spot in practice. The veteran is 1-1 this season.

Other injury updates  

Before practice forwards Josh Archibald and Kasperi Kapanen skated on their own.

They then hung around — with both wearing non-contact jerseys — for the remainder of practice.

“I feel better and I’m making progress,” said Kapanen, who has a lower-body injury. “It was something that I didn’t expect to turn into something bigger, I guess. Over one night, or two days, it did get pretty painful. So I’m out right now.”

Defenseman Jan Rutta did not participate in practice, and forward Teddy Blueger left early with what Sullivan described as ‘maintenance’ associated with bumps and bruises.

Pens, Caps

The rivalry between Pittsburgh and Washington has perhaps lost a bit of its luster in recent years, but it’s still a marquee matchup in the NHL.

And, right now, it’s a meaningful one for the Metropolitan Division standings.

The Penguins sit in fourth place with 56 points, tied with Washington.

But Pittsburgh has three games in hand compared to the Capitals, who have lost two straight. So this game is a chance for the Penguins to begin to gain some separation.

And that could be key. Currently, the two teams are in line for the final Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference. The second Wild Card team, in all likelihood, will have to face Boston, which is on an incredible pace this season, having gone 38-5-4 so far, becoming the league’s fastest team to 80 points.

“I think you always understand that there’s going to be more intensity, more emotion in those games,” captain Sidney Crosby said of the challenge that awaits. “With the standings the way they are and how close it is, it just adds to it.

“And we only play them three times this year, which is rare for your own division. So these are important games.”

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