Kunitz, Neal status unclear

Dave Molinari 4 years ago

Two of the Penguins' top-six forwards, Chris Kunitz and James Neal, did not participate in the team's practice at Southpointe today, and coach Dan Bylsma said their status for the start of a weekend home-and-home series with Philadelphia Saturday is unclear.

"We’ll re-evaluate tomorrow and, hopefully, see both back with us," he said.

Bylsma added that they are not being viewed as lost-time injuries "at this point," but "we’ll see more tomorrow and Saturday."

He said both were given "maintenance days" today to deal with bumps and bruises.

Kunitz slammed hard into a goalpost during a 2-0 victory against Washington Tuesday and, while he finished the game, was in obvious pain when it happened.

"The collision he had with the net, you know you’re doing to be dealing with a contusion … you’re dealing with a heavy blow to the leg," Bylsma said. "He hit his ankle first on the [left] skate and then we saw him hit above the knee on the second one."

Brian Gibbons replaced Kunitz on a line with Sidney Crosby and Lee Stempniak during drills today, while Beau Bennett filled in for Neal with Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen.