Midway through the first period of tonight's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders and the undermanned Pens are already down a man. With key players like Sidney Crosby, Justin Schultz and Nick Bjugstad already out of the lineup, the last thing the Penguins need is to lose a sniper like Jake Guentzel. Unfortunately... that may exactly the situation they find themselves in.
Take a look at this play in which Guentzel takes a slapshot to the head while being crosschecked to the ice:
That's... that's not good. For what it's worth, Guentzel was able to make it off the ice with some help from his team's trainer.
In other Pens news the team lost defensemen Justin Schultz and forward Nick Bjugstad both long-term due to injury.
In Bjugstad’s case, he’ll be out at least eight weeks after core muscle surgery.
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You may recall that captain Sidney Crosby also underwent core muscle surgery earlier this month.
The 27 year old Bjugstad, who was acquired from the Florida Panthers last season, has just one goal in 10 games so far this season. The former 19th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft has shown glimpses of elite skill in his eight NHL seasons, but has yet to really break out. His career high is 24 goals with the Panthers in 2014-15 and 49 points in 2017-18, also with the Panthers.
In Schultz’s case, he’ll be out “longer term” with a lower body injury.
Check it out:
The 29 year old has struggled with injuries the past two seasons and has failed to come anywhere close to the 51 point campaign he had with the Penguins back in 2016-17.
Schultz had just two goals and eight points in 21 games with the Penguins this season before going down with injury. In 29 games with the team last season he managed two goals and 15 points.
UPDATE: Guentzel returned for the final shift of the first period and appears no worse for wear. Don't forget kids, ALWAYS wear your helmet. You never know when your own defenseman might ring one off your dome.