Throughout their season-long battle with multiple injuries, one of the constants for the Pittsburgh Penguins has been their No. 1 line of Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis. Entering Monday night’s game in Ottawa, that trio hadn’t missed a single game among them this year.
Well, not only did the Penguins see their seven-game win streak come to a crashing end with a 5-0 loss to the Senators, the healthy run of Pittsburgh’s top line is likely over, too.
Dupuis, who hasn’t missed a single regular-season or playoff game since 2011, left Monday’s tilt at Canadian Tire Centre with an apparent knee injury after Senators’ defenseman Marc Methot put a low hip check into Crosby, who tumbled into Dupuis’ right leg:
Dupuis didn’t return to the game. According to media reports, he couldn’t walk without assistance in the dressing room following the loss. Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said the Penguins think Dupuis might’ve suffered ligament damage, but they won’t know for sure until tests are run this week.
It goes without saying Dupuis’ status for Friday’s game in Carolina is in doubt. If the 34-year-old Quebec native sits out, he will be the 11th Penguins player to miss a game due to injury this season. Forwards Beau Bennett and Tanner Glass have been out of the lineup for significant time, as have defensemen Rob Scuderi, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang, to say nothing of goalie Tomas Vokoun, who has been recovering from a blood clot issue in Florida since September.
Orpik, Scuderi and Glass have been participating in practices lately, so the Penguins’ postgame reassignment of wing Harry Zolnierczyk and blueliner Philip Samuelsson to the AHL should indicate the return of two rehabbing players for Friday’s game.