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Marino has facial surgery, out 3-6 weeks for Penguins

Rookie defenseman injured during loss to Lightning

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

CRANBERRY, Pa. -- John Marino is out 3-6 weeks for the Pittsburgh Penguins after having surgery Monday.

The rookie defenseman took a shot to the face from Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos in a 4-2 loss Feb. 6.

Marino will miss his second straight game when the Penguins play the Lightning at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, ATTSN-PT, SUN, NHL.TV). He did not play in a 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

"[Marino is] able to look guys off and make plays getting out of our zone," Penguins center Sidney Crosby said. "Just being able to skate and join the rush. He's got a great shot. He showed it in that game against Tampa. He gets pucks through. He's pretty dynamic. He does a lot of things well."

Marino is second among Pittsburgh defensemen with 25 points (five goals, 20 assists), 11 behind Kris Letang. He's averaging 20:19 in 51 games.

Justin Schultz replaced Marino on a pair with Marcus Pettersson. Juuso Riikola will enter the lineup to take Schultz' place alongside Chad Ruhwedel.

"I think for a young guy, coming up in his first year, [Marino is] so responsible," Pettersson said. "He's so good defensively. He's all over the ice too, some power-play time. So I think his overall game really impressed me. He's reliable out there.

"It means everybody else has to step up too. We, as a team, have been through this before all season."

The Penguins are also without defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who has missed 27 games since having ankle surgery Dec. 1. When healthy, Dumoulin plays on the top pair with Letang.

Forward Dominik Kahun did not practice Monday after missing the past four games with a concussion. Forwards Jake Guentzel (shoulder surgery) and Nick Bjugstad (core muscle surgery) are also out.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Kahun skated on his own. Bjugstad and Dumoulin are progressing but did not skate. Guentzel is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season.

"There's an opportunity for other guys to step up," Sullivan said. "That's been the mindset all year. Regardless of the position, when injuries occur, it's going to provide opportunities for others to step up and continue to help to move this team forward."

The Penguins (34-15-5), who are four points behind the Washington Capitals for first in the Metropolitan Division, have 226 man-games lost because of injury with 28 games remaining this season. That equals their 226 man-games lost from 2018-19.

"I think we've just stuck with it," Crosby said. "Different guys have stepped up at different times. We've gotten big plays from everybody in the lineup. That's what you need to do in that type of situation. You don't have time to feel sorry for yourself or look for excuses.

"We've got to continue to find ways. It's just going to get more and more challenging as the season goes along. So we've got to continue to have that mentality and continue to get better here as a group."

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