Cranberry Twp, PA — That didn’t take long. The Pittsburgh Penguins got a bit of good news on Friday morning as starting goalie Tristan Jarry returned to practice one day after head coach Mike Sullivan said the team placed him in the NHL COVID protocol.
As a few of us noted Thursday, Sullivan specifically said center Jeff Carter tested positive and that both Carter and Jarry were in the protocol. It appears that differentiation was an important one.
Jarry faced shots from Crosby in the minutes before practice (headline photo).
UPDATE: Sullivan confirmed after practice, Jarry had a false positive test.
Crosby has been out of the lineup since September wrist surgery. The team said he would be out for about six weeks, and this is the sixth week since surgery. On Thursday, Sullivan ruled Crosby out for the Penguins game against the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins lineup will undergo a radical shift among the forward lines without Carter, who tested positive and remains in protocol. The earliest he could return is Saturday–NHL protocol states an asymptomatic player must test negative twice before receiving clearance. Since Carter entered protocol on Thursday, it’s unlikely he’s available Saturday, but not impossible.
Evan Rodrigues is the defacto Penguins top centers Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Carter are out of the lineup. Teddy Blueger, Drew O’Connor, and Brian Boyle will fill the Penguins middle on Saturday and until Sidney Crosby returns.
Crosby, 34, did not skate the past two days. Thursday was a scheduled off day for the star center.
UPDATE 1: Crosby took line drills with Jason Zucker and Danton Heinen. Crosby also filled in on PP2. We presume Drew O’Connor will fill those spots on Saturday.
Penguins PP1: Kapanen-Letang
Penguins PP2: Matheson-Marino
Update 2: Sidney Crosby spoke at length about the injury, his rehab and even how it happened, seven years ago. You can read the full story here.
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