Penguins' Staal and Neal out with injuries
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The Penguins, who have been plagued by injuries, will be dealing with even more.
Top-line winger James Neal sustained a broken foot Saturday night when he blocked a shot by New Jersey's Henrik Tallider and will be out "weeks, not days," coach Dan Bylsma said today after Neal missed practice.
Center Jordan Staal's knee injury, which he got Friday night in a collision with Mike Rupp of the New York Rangers, involves his medial collateral ligament. He won't need surgery but will miss four to six weeks, Bylsma said.
At practice today, forward Craig Adams injured his right knee in a collision with defensemen Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen -- Bylsma said it was an aggravation of an earlier problem -- and limped badly as he was helped off the ice. Adams will be further evaluated on Monday.
Neal leads the Penguins and ranks fifth in the NHL with 21 goals. He is second on the team with 36 points. Staal, one of the top two-way centers in the league, has 15 goals, 12 points in 34 games. Adams is one of the team's best defensive forwards and, like Staal, a top penalty-killer. Neal is a mainstay on the power play and leads the NHL with 10 power-play goals.
The Penguins already are without center and captain Sidney Crosby and top offensive defenseman Kris Letang (both out indefinitely because of concussions or concussion symptoms), forward Arron Asham (unspecified injury) and forward Dustin Jeffrey (knee injury). Jeffrey is the only one who appears close to returning. He is practicing with the team.
The Penguins will need to add at least one forward before the next game Tuesday at home against Ottawa by promoting someone from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League or through a trade.
First Published January 8, 2012 12:34 pm