A source close to the situation confirmed to Pittsburgh Hockey Now that Pittsburgh Penguins rookie defenseman John Marino suffered a broken cheek bone from the incident on Thursday night when Steve Stamkos’ slap shot was deflected and hit Marino on the side of the head.
The play was immediately whistled dead as players from both teams called for medical personnel. Marino skated off the ice under his own power and immediately went to the locker room.
The source told Pittsburgh Hockey Now Marino’s cheek is broken in three places and he will need surgery. No timetable has been set for his return, though he will presumably miss significant time.
In 51 games, John Marino has been a breakout surprise. He has 25 points, including five goals. He scored in the third period on Thursday night to close the Penguins within one goal of Tampa Bay.
The Penguins are already without top-pairing defenseman Brian Dumoulin and recently got Justin Schultz back into the lineup. Schultz will resume his role on the second pairing with Marcus Pettersson. The Penguins third pairing will likely consist of Chad Ruhwdel and Juuso Riikola.
Penguins defenseman Zach Trotman was recently injured in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, as well. He posted pictures on Twitter after he suffered a facial injury on Feb. 2.
The Penguins have been among the leaders this season in man-games lost and significant man-games lost.
Editor’s note: The original version incorrectly indicated it was a broken jaw. We have corrected the broken bone.