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Dumoulin, Marino Game-Time Decisions; Simon Week To Week

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Brian Dumoulin's long-awaited return could come Tuesday.

Reinforcements for the Pittsburgh Penguins could be on their way as soon as Tuesday, when defensemen Brian Dumoulin and John Marino seem likely to return from injury when the team tries to bust its six-game losing streak against the Ottawa Senators at PPG Paints Arena.

Both are game-time decisions, coach Mike Sullivan said after the team practiced Monday at the arena.

With the Penguins, there if often a flip side when it comes to injuries. So it is now. Winger Dominik Simon, who left Saturday’s loss at San Jose, is out week to week because of an upper body injury, Sullivan said.

Dumoulin and Marino returned to practice last week. Dumoulin, who had ankle surgery, has missed 35 games. Marino, who had facial surgery, has been out the past nine games.

Monday, Dumoulin practiced in his regular spot alongside Kris Letang on the top pairing. Marino, still wearing full facial protection, skated with Marcus Pettersson.

“Doing good,” Dumoulin said. “It was good to go on that California trip with them (last week) and skate with the team a little bit. I haven’t had a lot of skates with them, so it’s been good this week to get back with them and try and get up to game speed.

“Obviously pace of play is something that you need to adjust to, but the best way to do that is to get back in a game. I look forward to doing that hopefully at some point this week.”

Of getting a full practice with Letang, his regular partner on the top pairing, Dumoulin said, “Chemistry is huge. We’ve got to try to get that back as quickly as we can.”

Marino said the swelling in his left cheek area is subsiding with each day.

Nick Bjugstad, who had core muscle surgery and has missed 43 games, went through his first practice with full contact.

“We’ll see how I respond,” Bjugstad said. “That was definitely a good step.”

Sullivan said Bjugstad has been ruled out for Tuesday.

One excused absence at practice was winger and newcomer Patrick Marleau, who was traveling from San Jose with his family.

Also not skating was defenseman Zach Trotman, who was sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

With all that said, the lines and pairings at practice:

Jason Zucker-Sidney Crosby-Conor Sheary

Nick Bjugstad-Evgeni Malkin-Bryan Rust

Evan Rodrigues-Jared McCann-Patric Hornqvist

Brandon Tanev-Teddy Blueger-Sam Lafferty

Brian Dumoulin-Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson-John Marino

Jack Johnson-Justin Schultz

Juuso Riikola-Chad Ruhwedel

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Shelly is a 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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Randy894
Randy894
1 year ago

Great news to see them return. This is just what they needed.

Miller Time
Miller Time
1 year ago

Yeah, Dumo is exactly what this team needs. He’ll do wonders for the sucky power play and utter lack of size/physicality up front . . . @WaitForMe

Tony G.
Tony G.
1 year ago

Rats! I was hopin’ Simon would be year-to-year . . .

Randy894
Randy894
1 year ago

Ah yes, just the replies I expect from Pixburghers, Simon out year to year, etc…., hey good news, disability checks come out for you losers tomorrow. Man I am glad I left that dump.

King Penguin
King Penguin
1 year ago

Sullivan nailed it the other day — this team wants to pass the puck into the net, not shoot it.

As long as that mindset prevails — and it has for a long time now — consistent success is out of the question especially at this stage of the season. North-south, shoot-the-puck, crash-the-net hockey is what is most likely to win now. That’s not the Penguins, unfortunately.

Tony G.
Tony G.
1 year ago

Yo, Randy, if the Burgh is a dump, then why are you at this site? Shouldn’t you be on the Flyers bandwagon in Philadelphia?

As for Simon, I don’t want his career to be over at all. I just don’t want him on this team. And I have plenty of company.

Da Binker
Da Binker
1 year ago

Couldn’t agree more, King. Watch Ovechkin and you realize how a passionate goal-scorer can impact an offense and a team.

The problem is, any adjustment has to start with Meadowlark Crosby as the team leader, and he’s too old to change his ways now. It’s sad how many goals he has left on the ice in recent years.

E.J.
E.J.
1 year ago

Per the Buffalo News: “The players were thrilled (GM Jason) Botterill made some additions to the team in Wayne Simmonds and Dominik Kahun. Both have made immediate impact to the lineup and have been clear upgrades to the departed Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary.”

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