As if not enough players have been lost to Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, he will now be without Jake Guentzel for long. The 25-year-old shoulder surgeon sustained an upper body injury Monday night against the Ottawa Senators and is expected to lose 4-6 months, the team announced Tuesday.
Going into the net with Eugene Malkin, Wenzel hit a pass for his 20th goal of the season and his 200th NHL career point. After the goal, he collided with Thomas Chabot and crashed straight onto the boards, falling hard on the ice. He was able to get up and step off with his own power, immediately going down the tunnel into the dressing room. After the game, coach Mike Sullivan was not informed about Guentzel’s condition.
Guentzel was named to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game on Monday, earning a spot on the Metropolitan Team’s roster.
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Through 39 games this season, Guentzel has accumulated 20 goals and 43 points, including three on Monday. For nearly half of the season, he managed to help the team maintain its playoff position as the Penguins struggled without the services of Sidney Crosby and Nick Bjugstad and defensemen Justin Schultz and Brian Dumoulin.
The pens should see more of their aggressive arsenal as Guentzel recovers. While Malkin can continue to provide the services of a top center, players like Alex Galchenyuk are expected to rise to the occasion.
On the more optimistic side of things, Crosby saw ice in Tuesday’s practice.