Making sense of the NHL mumps epidemic
1:06 | NHL
Making sense of the NHL mumps epidemic
Wednesday December 17th, 2014

The New York Rangers have confirmed that center Derick Brassard has tested positive for the mumps, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports.

Brassard, 27, did not play in New York's last two games since becoming ill. He was sent home early from the team's road trip after Saturday's game against the Vancouver Canucks. In 24 games this season, he has eight goals and a team-high 16 assists.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Olli Maata and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury have been quarantined as a precaution until they receive test results.

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Penguins star Sidney Crosby is out of the lineup after testing positive for mumps earlier this week, and right wing Beau Bennett has also tested positive for the virus.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said the team has been proactive in trying to prevent the virus from spreading.

With Fleury out for the time being, Pittsburgh recalled goaltender Jeff Zatkoff from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday.

Thomas Greiss, normally the backup to Fleury, will start for the Penguins in their game Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche, according to Zatkoff will back up Greiss.

Zatkoff, 27, is returning for his second career stint with the Penguins after spending all of last season with the team, when he recorded a 2.61 goals-against-average and a .912 save percentage in 17 starts. In 15 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, Zatkoff has recorded a 1.89 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage.

The mumps have spread across the NHL after starting with the Anaheim Ducks. In addition to the Rangers and Penguins, the New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild have also had players test positive for mumps.

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- Paul Palladino

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