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Carl Hagelin ready to step in for Pittsburgh Penguins if Nick Bonino can't play

By
The Sports Xchange
Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin (62) joins Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino (13) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) in celebrating following the Pittsburgh Penguins' 3-2 double overtime win against the Ottawa Senators of game seven to win the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena. File photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin (62) joins Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino (13) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) in celebrating following the Pittsburgh Penguins' 3-2 double overtime win against the Ottawa Senators of game seven to win the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena. File photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Carl Hagelin told reporters he's ready to step in for the injured Nick Bonino if needed for Saturday's Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the host Nashville Predators.

Hagelin has been scratched for the first two contests of the Stanley Cup Final -- both Pittsburgh victories -- but could find himself on the ice with Bonino using crutches and wearing a walking boot on his left leg on Friday.

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Coach Mike Sullivan said that Bonino will be a game-time decision on Saturday as he nurses the lower-body injury, which was sustained while blocking a P.K. Subban shot during Wednesday's 4-1 victory in Game 2.

"First when you find out, it's disappointing, you're frustrated, you're (ticked) off," Hagelin said of sitting out. "But it's the Stanley Cup Final, it's not about me, it's about the team, so whenever you get the chance, you've got to be ready."

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Hagelin has been dealing with conditioning issues since sustaining a lower-body injury against the Winnipeg Jets on March 10. The 28-year-old Swede missed the last 16 games of the regular season and the first six of the playoffs before he returned for five contests in the second round against the Washington Capitals.

He sat out the next two games before playing the last six contests of the Eastern Conference final vs. the Ottawa Senators.

Hagelin skated on a line with veteran Matt Cullen and former Predator Patric Hornqvist during Friday's practice. Carter Rowney took Bonino's spot at center between Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson.

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