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No Crosby; Dumoulin, Rodrigues, Jankowski Return to Practice

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Pittsburgh Penguins Brian Dumoulin

The Pittsburgh Penguins added a few recently injured players to practice Wednesday, most notably defenseman Brian Dumoulin.

Dumoulin, who has missed the last 14 games because of an undisclosed injury, was in a regular, or full-contact jersey. So were forwards Evan Rodrigues (15 games) and Mark Jankowski (three games).

In fact, the only player not said to be out longer-term who was missing was center and team captain Sidney Crosby, who on Tuesday was put on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. It remains unclear whether Crosby tested positive for the virus or is quarantining as a precaution because of possible exposure to it.

Winger Jason Zucker is the player out longer term. He has missed four games and could miss the rest of the regular season or close to it.

Whether any or all of the injured players who skated Wednesday will be available for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers at PPG Paints Arena remains to be seen, and coach Mike Sullivan might address that after the session.

Getting Dumoulin back would be a boon. He is one of the team’s top and most reliable defensemen and clearly the best option to be paired with Kris Letang, who has skated with a few different partners during Dumoulin’s absence.

Last season, Dumoulin played only 28 games after mid-season ankle surgery. The stay-at-home defender has one assist in seven games this season. He was one of four LHD in the Penguins lineup whose injuries overlapped. The Penguins pressed rookie P.O. Joseph and minor league journeyman Kevin Czuzman into duty.

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat Philadelphia 5-2 on Tuesday night, which was the first of a three-game between the Penguins and Flyers, who are fourth and fifth in the East Division. Philadelphia has two games in hand on the Penguins. The second game is Thursday. The teams will wrap up on Saturday.

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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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