Two days after he left Consol Energy Center on a stretcher, Penguins' right winger Pascal Dupuis fully participated in a morning skate today prior to this team's game against the Islanders. Dupuis (above, shooting on goaltender Thomas Greiss), appeared to have no limitations during the skate.
Dupuis was injured during the second period of Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Stars when after being shoved to the ice by Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski, he was stuck in the neck by a shot from Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.
Head coach Mike Johnston described Dupuis' availibility for tonight's game as a "game-time" decision. After the morning skate, Dupuis held court with the media.
On how he felt this morning and his status for tonight:
"I feel much better than I did coming out of the game. It’s still a decision that we have to make with the coach and the trainers and see if I’ll be ready to go tonight."
On the play he was injured on:
Just kind of got pushed from behind there. Went down. I knew the puck was coming. I tried to cover myself. Left the back of my neck area kind of open. The puck kind of dipped and hit me right there in the neck. I tried to get up and I couldn’t feel my arms and my extremities. Start shaking my gloves and wanted to see if they were really shaking or no. They were kind of moving. Dropped my gloves. Gino [Penguins center Evgeni Malkin] came around and was like, ‘Just lay there! Just lay there!’ I was like, ‘Okay Gino.’"
Did he think the hit by Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski was illegal:
I don’t know. It’s not me to judge that. It’s a hockey play obviously. He wants to get position there in front of the net and ended up pushing me a little bit. Maybe I should have got up. The puck was coming and tried to cover my face. Got it in the neck.
On how he felt during the moments after being struck by the puck:
Feeling came back but I had to argue with the [doctors] a little bit. It took a little while. The feeling started to slowly come back. I don’t know. It was a weird feeling. Obviously, it never happened to me and never got numb like this. Kind of scary actually.
Did the doctors offer a diagnosis of his injury:
Definitely. Obviously, you have all sorts of muscles, nerves in the neck where the puck hit. Everything went numb. Came back slowly but [the feeling] did come back and it’s fully back already.
Why he came back to the arena that night after going to the hospital:
"All my stuff was still here so I had to come back here. I went in there in my equipment. My suit and everything was still back here. Did all the testing at the hospital and made my way back here to see the guys and mainly to talk to [athletic trainer Chris Stewart]."
(Photo: Seth Rorabaugh/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)