Penguins' Jeff Carter Tests Positive for COVID; Tristan Jarry Put in Safety Protocol

Erin WalshOctober 21, 2021

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 03: Pittsburgh Penguins center Jeff Carter (77) looks on in the preseason NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings on October 3, 2021, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jeff Carter has tested positive for the coronavirus, while goaltender Tristan Jarry was placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocols, head coach Mike Sullivan announced Thursday, per team reporter Michelle Crechiolo.

Both players are asymptomatic and will be unavailable for Pittsburgh's next game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

As of Sept. 27, the Penguins were waiting on one player to get his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to reach 100 percent vaccination, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It's unclear if that player has since received the second shot. 

Per NHL protocols, players must remain isolated for 10 days after testing positive for the coronavirus. A player can be released from isolation if they are asymptomatic, are vaccinated and test negative twice on two straight days within those 10 days. 

Carter and Jarry are the third and fourth Penguins to enter COVID-19 protocols this season. Forwards Zach Aston-Reese and Jake Guentzel tested positive for the virus during training camp. 

Carter had been filling in as Pittsburgh's top-line center with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin sidelined. Crosby underwent surgery on his left wrist in September, and Malkin is out with a knee injury. 

Crosby was expected to miss a minimum of six weeks, while Malkin isn't likely to return until late November. 

In four games this season, Carter has one goal and three assists. It's his first full season in Pittsburgh after being traded to the franchise by the Los Angeles Kings during the 2020-21 campaign. 

With Carter sidelined, Evan Rodrigues could see time as the Pens' No. 1 center. The 28-year-old has two goals and an assist in four games this season.

Teddy Blueger and Brian Boyle may also get bumped up to the second and third line, respectively, while Dominik Simon could shift from the right wing to center on the fourth line. That would allow someone like Sam Lafferty to slot in as the fourth-line right wing. 

Jarry, meanwhile, serves as Pittsburgh's No. 1 goaltender. He is 2-0-1 in three starts this season with a 1.62 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. 

With Jarry out, Casey DeSmith figures to start for the Penguins. The 30-year-old is in his fourth season with Pittsburgh and is 0-0-1 this season with a 4.92 GAA and .872 SV%

Louis Domingue could be recalled from the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to back up DeSmith. 

Pittsburgh is 2-0-2 on the season and first in the Metropolitan Division with six points. After facing the Maple Leafs on Saturday, the Pens will host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.