The Pittsburgh Penguins have to stop this losing streak, and they have to stop it right now if they want to keep a hold on a Metropolitan Division playoff spot. They’ll get a chance to do just that when they take on the Ottawa Senators this evening, and it will be with a pair of important reinforcements. The team has announced that both Brian Dumoulin and John Marino will play.
Dumoulin has not played in a game since November, while Marino has been out for nearly a month. Brandon Tanev will be held out with an illness.
It is hard to overstate just how important Dumoulin and Marino are to the Penguins. Before his injury, the 28-year old Dumoulin trailed only Kris Letang in ice time for Pittsburgh, logging more than 21 minutes a night. His all-around ability allowed the team to pair him with almost anyone and expect positive results, something he’s sure to bring once again in his return.
Marino meanwhile is still just a rookie, but has shown poise beyond his 22 years. In 51 games before he suffered several broken bones in his cheek, he had recorded 25 points and was averaging more than 20 minutes a night. Acquired from the Edmonton Oilers, he appears to be a long-term answer for the team.
The Penguins have lost their last six games and are now just two points ahead of the New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets in the Metro. The Philadelphia Flyers, who are on a six-game winning streak, have pulled three points ahead of them for second in the division.