Pittsburgh Penguins rookie defenseman John Marino had successful surgery for a facial fracture on Monday afternoon, according to Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford.
The surgery was performed at UPMC Mercy by Dr. Mark Ochs of UPMC Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Marino is expected to miss three to six weeks.
Marino, 22, was struck in the face with a puck while on the penalty kill during Pittsburgh’s game in Tampa Bay on February 6. He currently ranks second among team defensemen, and fourth among all NHL rookie blueliners with 25 points (5g, 20a) in 51 games.
From Editor-in-Chief Dan Kingerski:
Three to six weeks is better news than some online prognostications. It’s not ideal for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Justin Schultz is a proven defenseman capable of top-four minutes and play. Schultz has anchored the Penguins second paring for three seasons. Schultz was only put on the third pairing after he returned from injury a couple of weeks ago, during which John Marino earned more playing time.
Marino’s absence will expose the Penguins third pairing with Juuso Riikola and Chad Ruhwedel, but three to six weeks is actually good news for the Penguins.