Samuelsson, Zolnierczyk Recalled By Penguins

Monday, December 16, 2013
Photo courtesy Amy's WBS Penguins Picture Page.
It appears Philip Samuelsson's chance to make his NHL debut could come as early as Monday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though not yet official, both Samuelsson and Harry Zolnierczyk have been called up to Pittsburgh, a source told Highland Park Hockey on Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced this morning that Samuelsson and Harry Zolnierczyk have been recalled to the NHL Pens.

In his third season with the AHL Penguins, Samuelsson has become a solid shutdown defenseman on the team's top pairing this season, eating up big minutes both at even strength and the penalty kill. Samuelsson doesn't light the world on fire offensively, but he's a good skater who sees the ice well and has been been a steady defensive defenseman for the AHL Pens this season. In 26 games this season, Samuelsson has six points (0G-6A), including 35 penalty minutes and a plus three rating.

This will be Zolnierczk's third call up to Pittsburgh this season, as he's appeared in three NHL games with the Penguins already this year. While with the AHL Penguins, Zolnierczyk was a top-line winger that played in all situations and excelled on the penalty kill, while also getting power play time as well. In 21 AHL games this season, Zolnierczyk has tallied 14 points (10G-4A), including 39 penalty minutes and a plus six rating.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins don't play their next game until Friday night at home against the Worcester Sharks, so presumably one or both could be back before then. If not, the AHL Penguins will be down to 12 healthy forwards and five healthy defensemen with Peter Merth, Reid McNeill, Dominik Uher and Adam Payerl currently out of the lineup.

Both Merth and McNeill returned from previous injuries, but both were on the team's injured list in the team's last game on Saturday night against Utica. Dominik Uher should be close to returning after taking a puck to the face on Thanksgiving Eve up in Glens Falls against the Adirondack Phantoms. Uher was originally said to be out about two weeks. Adam Payerl is out long term with an upper body injury.

The AHL Penguins have a week's worth of practice leading up to Friday's game, starting Monday morning at the Toyota Sportsplex, which gives them time to make decisions on their current roster situation.


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