The Pittsburgh Penguins were short one forward on Saturday. They played with 11 forwards and seven defensemen in their 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. On Friday, the team sent Radim Zohorna back to the WBS Penguins and were caught short on Saturday when Bryan Rust and Brock McGinn tested positive and were placed in the protocol.
That won’t happen again on Tuesday.
Not only does it appear that Evgeni Malkin will be activated and play against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, but the Penguins made a trio of roster moves to fortify their forward depth.
On Monday, the Penguins activated Drew O’Connor from COVID Protocol and sent him to the WBS Penguins. Anthony Angello and Radim Zohorna hopped on a cross-country flight to California to be part of the Pittsburgh Penguins Taxi Squad.
O’Connor appears to be ineligible for the Taxi Squad because he has spent more than 75% of the season on the NHL roster, is waiver-exempt, and was on the NHL roster as of Dec. 21. NHL Taxi Squad rules.
He has played 20 of the Penguins’ 34 games this season with five points (3-2-5). He spent approximately 15 days in the AHL (Oct. 11, Nov. 14-28) with five points (3-2-5) in five games.
Zohorna, 25, played in one NHL game this season and notched an assist on Kasper Bjorkqvist’s first NHL goal, Jan. 2, vs. San Jose. In 23 AHL games with the WBS Penguins, he has 10 points (5-5-10). The 6-foot-6 forward is in his second professional season in North America. He scored his first NHL goal on March 25, 2021, against the Buffalo Sabres at PPG Paints Arena.
Angello, 25, has not played an NHL game this season but has 27 career games with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has five points (3-2-5) in those games. In seven AHL games this season, Angello has two points (1-1-2).
Both should be available if needed when the Penguins face the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night at the Honda Center.