Word on James Neal, from Rob Rossi of "The Trib"
Evgeni Malkin is facing an immediate future without his favorite winger.
James Neal is out indefinitely, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Friday.
Neal did not practice because of an upper-body injury that has lingered since Monday, even though he played in the season opener.
“It's more week-to-week than day-to-day,” Bylsma said.
Neal, the regular right winger on a No. 2 scoring line centered by Malkin, did not return after leaving the Penguins' win over New Jersey at Consol Energy Center on Thursday. He re-aggravated the injury late in the first period.
A former 40-goal scorer and the Penguins' top power-play marksman, Neal's spot on the second line could be filled by a number of current players, Bylsma said.
Beau Bennett replaced Neal during practice, with Jussi Jokinen at left wing filling out the No. 2 line.
Bylsma also said Malkin, a two-time scoring champion and former MVP, could rotate throughout the lineup, sometimes even playing with captain Sidney Crosby, during Neal's absence.
Per team policy on injured players, Neal was not available for comment Friday.
The Penguins (1-0-0, 2 points) play Buffalo at Consol Energy Center tomorrow.