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Marino, Dumoulin Practice; Newcomers Also On The Ice

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John Marino Pittsburgh Penguins Roster
John Marino returned to practice.

The Pittsburgh Penguins had one of their more eventful practices of the season Tuesday in El Segundo, Calif., given who participated and how the players were aligned.

Soak it all in:

*Rookie defenseman John Marino, who has missed eight games, joined his teammates on the ice for the first time since he had surgery to repair broken facial bones, the result of getting hit with a puck. In fact, reports from those on site noted he was the first one on the ice. He was wearing full facial protection and a contrasting, no-contact jersey.

*Top-pairing defenseman Brian Dumoulin also joined practice for the first time since he got hurt and required ankle surgery Dec. 1. He also wore a no-contact jersey.

As far as Marino and/or Dumoulin returning to game action, “We’re hoping it’s sooner (rather) than later,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “They certainly looked good out there. … That’s encouraging.”

*All three players acquired Monday leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline also were on the ice —  forwards Patrick Marleau, Conor Sheary  and Evan Rodrigues.

Sheary joined the top line, Marleau and Rodrigues the third line. It remains to be seen whether these combinations will stand when the Penguins play the Los Angeles Kings, but it’s a strong possibility.

*One unexpected absence was forward Jared McCann. Sullivan apparently was not asked about that after the workout.

*Injured center Nick Bjugstad skated at the end of the Pittsburgh Penguins practice. Sullivan said Bjugstad still isn’t ready to rejoin practice.

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Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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