The Pittsburgh Penguins’ injury list grew by two on Sunday after the team learned centre Jordan Staal and winger James Neal will be out with significant injuries.
Staal, considered one of the NHL’s best two-way players, will miss the next four to six weeks after suffering a medial collateral ligament injury in his left knee — although he’s not expected to require surgery.
Neal, meanwhile, will miss the next several “weeks” with a broken foot, according to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. Staal injured his knee following a knee-on-knee collision with New York Rangers forward Mike Rupp during a 3-1 Penguins loss on Friday.
Neal, the team’s leading scorer with 21 goals, was hit by a shot from Henrik Tallinder in the third period the next night. The Penguins, who are still without star centre Sidney Crosby because of a concussion, have lost their last four games and are 11-12-1 since a 10-3-3 start.
"Guys will step up in these situations and will get opportunities to score goals and be effective," said Bylsma, as reported by NHL.com. "Tyler Kennedy will be one of those guys, but it's going to be the group of guys — that's got to be the bigger focus, rather than counting on Evgeni Malkin or Tyler Kennedy to step forward and score goals so we can win hockey games."