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Marino, Rust Miss Penguins Practice In Florida

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Pittsburgh Penguins John Marino Juuso Riikola
John Marino being further evaluated.

The Penguins got back to work with a practice Friday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., a day following a 4-2 loss at Tampa Bay that left the Penguins feeling as if they started slowly and never fully showed up.

Defenseman John Marino did not practice. He got hit in the left jaw area Thursday night by a deflected Steven Stamkos slapshot in the third period. Indications after that game were that Marino avoided a significant injury.

Coach Mike Sullivan said Friday that Marino was “being further evaluated for precautionary reasons.” It seems likely that Marino had swelling associated with the incident. His status for Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers remains unclear, but he hasn’t been ruled out.

Also missing from practice was winger Bryan Rust with, according to Sullivan, another maintenance day. He sat out practice Monday on a maintenance day but practiced Wednesday and played Thursday. That would seem to indicate he is dealing with some sort of minor or nagging problem.

Andrew Agozzino, who has been scratched lately, filled in for Rust on the second line. Jared McCann filled in for Rust on the top power play unit. On defense, without Marino, Justin Schultz moved up to the second pairing with Marcus Pettersson, and Juuso Rikkola joined the third pairing alongside Chad Ruhwedel.

Not related to the player absences, Schultz replaced Kris Letang on the top unit for part of the power play drills.

The Penguins were 0 for 5 on the power play against Tampa Bay, including 1:34 of five-on-three play.

 

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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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