136401985Perhaps no other team in the NHL is as accustomed to thriving without star players in the lineup than the Pittsburgh Penguins. After all: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal have only played together a handful of times in the last year.
Crosby remains out with concussion-related symptoms. Staal injured his knee in a collision with Michael Rupp of the New York Rangers on Friday night. The Penguins updated the status of Staal on Sunday, and bad news got worse: James Neal, having a career offensive year for the Pens, is now also on the shelf.
Center Jordan Staal is out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury after he collided knee-on-knee with Rangers forward Mike Rupp Friday night, according to head coach Dan Bylsma.
Forward James Neal, who leads the team with 21 goals, will be out indefinitely with a broken foot. Bylsma said it will be "weeks not days."Neal was hit by a shot late in the third period Saturday night against New Jersey.
On top of that, forward Craig Adams "stressed a previous injury during Sunday's practice" and will be looked at again on Monday. Staal and Adams are the top penalty killing forwards for the Penguins this season.
Neal has 21 goals on the season. He hasn't scored in the Penguins' last four games; and Pittsburgh has lost all four.
Crosby, Staal, Neal and the still-injured Kris Letang, all out of the lineup. There are two men that are going to have to keep this team from entering an Eastern Conference tailspin: Evgeni Malkin and, perhaps even more so, Dan Bylsma.