Penguins’ Brian Dumoulin on track to play in season opener

October 4, 2018

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Brian Dumoulin move the puck up ice during their game against the Capitals inside of PPG Paints Arena on May 1, 2018.

Brian Dumoulin, out with an upper-body injury since the preseason finale last Friday night in Columbus, is on track to play in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season opener Thursday night at home against the Washington Capitals.

Dumoulin switched from a non-contact jersey to a regular uniform during Wednesday’s practice at PPG Paints Arena and reported no physical problems afterwards. Coach Mike Sullivan said he’ll likely be a game-time decision.

Dumoulin practiced on the team’s top defense pair with Kris Letang.

“Our training staff has done a good job of making sure I’m ready to go instead of rushing back and trying to play in that first game,” Dumoulin said. “Obviously everyone wants to be part of that. It’s great, especially being here in Pittsburgh. I’m doing everything I can to hopefully play tomorrow, but I’m taking it step by step.”

If Dumoulin can play, training camp standout Juuso Riikola would likely be pushed out of the lineup. He skated on a fourth pair in practice with Chad Ruhwedel.

“As we’ve gotten to know his game throughout the course of the last three or four weeks, he’s a guy that’s got us all excited about the type of player that he is,” Sullivan said. “Juuso’s a very good hockey player. He’s had a terrific camp. He’s deserving of being here, and he’s certainly a guy that’s going to make our lineup decisions very difficult.”

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