Penguins’s Hagelin a game-time preference for Game 2 vs. Caps

6:11 PM ET

WASHINGTON — Carl Hagelin could be bringing his heading speed behind to a Pittsburgh Penguins‘ lineup.

Coach Mike Sullivan pronounced Hagelin will be a game-time preference to lapse for Game 2 opposite a Washington Capitals on Saturday night after being out given Mar 10 with a lower-body injury. The lightning-quick wing took partial in a full-contact use Friday and has progressed distant adequate in his liberation to be an choice to play.

“He brings that component of speed, his ability to widen a ice, his office game, army turnovers all a time and we can emanate a lot of offense off of it,” Sullivan said. “He’s a good chastisement killer, he’s a plain two-way player, so we can use him in a array of opposite capacities, though we consider his speed positively helps us play a form of diversion that we wish to play and we’re a some-more rival group when he’s in a lineup.”

Hagelin called it a “step in a right direction” though pronounced it’s formidable to establish if he’ll feel good adequate to play.

“You always wish to play,” a 28-year-old Swede said. “It’s always tough to say, though out there currently it felt good. It felt like we was moving, and I’m excited, that’s for sure.”

Pittsburgh leads a best-of-seven second-round array 1-0. The Penguins are a most stronger group with a lapse of maestro wing Chris Kunitz and Hagelin, whose speed could make it even some-more formidable on a Capitals.

“He can put teams behind on their heels,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “He doesn’t need a lot of room to make a play. … He can assistance in a lot of opposite areas.”

If Hagelin is privileged to return, Sullivan says it will be a formidable preference who comes out. Depth is one of a Penguins’ strengths, so it’s implausible that former first-line wing Conor Sheary could be a odd-man out after being demoted to a third line and struggling in some areas.

“We know Conor has a most improved game, and that’s what we’re perplexing to assistance him get to,” Sullivan said. “The final integrate we don’t consider have been his best, though positively he’s a man that’s played a lot of unequivocally good hockey for this team.”

So has Hagelin, who was partial of a famed “HBK” line along with Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel during Pittsburgh’s 2016 Stanley Cup run. He had 16 points in 24 games final season.

“Haggy’s a good two-way player,” Kessel said. “He’s a quick actor out there. He brings speed, and he’s a intelligent actor out there. Whenever we get a man like that behind it’s large for your team.”

It’s generally large if Hagelin can get his wheels behind right away. Being out of a lineup for 6 weeks creates that a plea though one he’s fervent to undertake.

“Speed should be there,” Hagelin said. “You don’t know that compartment you’re in a game. “That’s what’s fun about hockey. You go out there and customarily we feel like we collect it adult right where we left off.”

More AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

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