PITTSBURGH — Tom Kuhnhackl probably had a right to be paranoid. Because when it comes to Marc-Andre Fleury and pulling pranks, no one is safe.
With Fleury back in Pittsburgh for the first time, the Penguins’ right wing thought he might still be a target of the now-Golden Knights goaltender.
“I’m sure he did something,” Kuhnhackl said Tuesday after the Penguins’ morning skate at PPG Paints Arena. “I just don’t know what it is yet. But we’ll find out by the end of the evening.”
Actually, nothing happened this time. But Kuhnhackl has had his underwear layered with ointment and his car hijacked courtesy of Fleury.
“I’ve been pranked a bunch of times by him,” he said. “It wasn’t always funny at first. But if you look back at it, it’s something to laugh at.”
The most creative prank may have been when Fleury got the keys to Kuhnhackl’s car, drove it to an area Penguins fans usually park at and had them sign their names on the windshield.
“That was pretty funny,” Kuhnhackl said. “I’m sure he signed it too but I couldn’t find it.”
Kuhnhackl said he never got Fleury back.
“No, I was young back then,” he said. “I couldn’t do it.”
Leipsic returns to lineup
With Will Carrier unavailable with an upper-body injury, Brendan Leipsic returned to the Knights lineup Tuesday after being a healthy scratch the last two games.
Leipsic was paired with Cody Eakin and Oscar Lindberg while Alex Tuch, who has been skating with Eakin and Leipsic, remained with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Carpenter. Tuch scored the game-winner playing on that line while taking Carrier’s place in the 4-3 win over Washington on Sunday.
“I thought they looked pretty good together so we’ll keep it the same,” coach Gerard Gallant said of Tuch, Bellemare and Carpenter after the team’s morning skate.
Also, Brad Hunt remained in the lineup on defense while Jason Garrison was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
Penguins missing Hornqvist
The Penguins were without right wing Patric Hornqvist, who is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Hornqvist was injured in the third period of last Friday’s 7-4 win over Washington following a collision with the Capitals’ Brooks Orpik.
“When players go down, it’s never an easy thing,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It’s hard to replace some of these guys. They’re good players. But every team goes through it.”
Hornqvist has 16 goals, 15 assists and 31 points in 49 games and averages 17:11 in ice time.