The Penguins announced more bad news on the COVID front, with two more forwards going on the list.
Danton Heinen and Zach Aston-Reese have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been added to the protocol.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 11, 2022
Coach Sullivan says Heinen is symptomatic and Aston-Reese is asymptomatic.
The team will replace Heinen and Aston-Reese with two recent recalls of Radim Zohorna and Anthony Angello. Pittsburgh also got gave some good news with Evgeni Malkin cleared to play tonight against the Ducks. It will be Malkin’s first appearance in the NHL this season. (Angello’s too, for that matter, though it is getting far less fanfare!)
Jason Zucker (week-to-week injury) skated with his teammates today for the first time as he rehabs, though Mike Sullivan was quick to point out his “status hasn’t changed” and a return is not imminent.
There are now down to only five Pens players who have not taken a trip to the COVID protocol list this season: Brian Boyle, Mark Friedman, Kasperi Kapanen, Evgeni Malkin, and Zucker. This trip the virus has spread quickly among the players with Bryan Rust, Brock McGinn and Casey DeSmith all ending up on COVID protocol within the last few days, with varying degrees of minor symptoms to no symptoms. The latter are now eligible to return after five days, but beyond any returns the bigger question seems to be who will be the next to test positive at this point.