As if the Pittsburgh Penguins had not lost enough players due to injuries, they will now be without Jake Guentzel for quite some time. The 25-year-old underwent shoulder surgery after suffering an upper body injury on Monday night against the Ottawa senators and is now expected to lose 4 to 6 months. the team announced on Tuesday.
Going to the net with Evgeni Malkin, Guentzel took advantage of a pass for his twentieth goal of the season and point number 200 of the NHL in his career. After the goal, he hit Thomas Chabot and crashed directly against the boards, falling hard to the ice. He was able to get up and skate under his own power, immediately going down the tunnel to the locker room. After the game, coach Mike Sullivan had no update on the status of Guentzel.
Guentzel had been named for the NHL 2020 All-Star Game on Monday, earning a deserved place on the Metropolitan Team roster.
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Throughout 39 games this season, Guentzel had 20 goals and 43 points, including three points on Monday. For almost half of the season, he has been able to help the team maintain their position in the playoffs, as the Penguins have fought without the services of strikers Sidney Crosby and Nick Bjugstad and defenders Justin Schultz and Brian Dumoulin.
The Pens will have to see more of their offensive arsenal intensify as Guentzel recovers. While Malkin can continue to provide the services of a frontline center, players like Alex Galchenyuk are expected to live up to the circumstances.
On the most optimistic side of things, Crosby was seen on the ice in Tuesday's practice.