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Penguins Practice: Marino, Matheson, Simon Back After COVID-19 Protocol

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Pittsburgh Penguins John Marino, NHL COVID protocols
John Marino is one of three Penguins out of COVID-19 protocol.

It looks as if the Pittsburgh Penguins could be getting some players back for Sunday’s home game against the San Jose Sharks, players who had been in NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

Defensemen John Marino and Mike Matheson, and forward Dominik Simon all were on the ice Saturday for practice at PPG Paints Arena. They had been on the protocol list for the virus, and the Penguins announced Saturday that they are out of protocol, which allowed them to join practice.

The NHL this week adopted the CDC’s reduced guidelines for isolation, decreasing the time from 10 days to five under certain conditions.

Others who have been in the protocol, including No. 1 goaltender Tristan Jarry, were not on the ice for practice, so it would seem they are still in the protocol,, although the Penguins have not said which players might be experiencing symptoms of the virus. Also still in the protocol are centers Jeff Carter and Teddy Blueger and winger Kasperi Kapanen. (Defenseman P.O. Joseph also tested positive for COVID-19, but that was before he ever got on the ice after being added to the taxi squad.)

It would seem that backup goalie Casey DeSmith is likely to get the start Sunday against the Sharks. He would be backed up by taxi squad player Louis Domingue barring a return by Jarry.

The Penguins, under recently revised NHL rules, have a taxi squad to draw from to help replace players who miss games while they are in the protocol.

Meanwhile, top-line wingers Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, who are coming back from injuries, practiced. They seem likely to return Sunday, giving the Penguins their top line intact for just the seventh time this season and the first time since late November.

Center Evgeni Malkin, who is close to returning from offseason knee surgery but ruled himself out for Sunday, continues to practice.

Center Brian Boyle was not at practice. The Penguins announced that he missed the session for personal reasons, so apparently there are no new players who have been added to COVID protocol.

 

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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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