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Pittsburgh Penguins lose star winger Jake Guentzel to upper-body injury

Pittsburgh Penguins lose star winger Jake Guentzel to upper-body injury
Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel, shown March 16, 2018, was riding a 13-game points streak before the injury. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Wednesday that star winger Jake Guentzel is "week-to-week" with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan declined to provide specifics about how or when Guentzel was injured. Guentzel briefly left the ice during the first period of Pittsburgh's 6-1 win over the Seattle Kraken on Monday night, though he returned and finished with two goals and an assist.

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"It's next man up, as we've had for a few years now," Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson told reporters. "It's going to be no different. New guys got to step up, and new opportunities for guys."

Over the opening two months of the 2021-22 season, Guentzel has been one of the most productive players in the NHL. He currently has a 13-game points streak, a stretch that includes 11 goals and seven assists.

In 24 games this season, the 27-year-old forward has notched 15 goals and 12 assists for the Penguins, who are fourth in the Metropolitan Division.

Kasperi Kapanen likely will get the first chance at replacing Guentzel on the top line alongside star center Sidney Crosby and Evan Rodrigues, who is filling in for an injured Bryan Rust.

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"Those are pretty big shoes to fill, obviously," said Kapanen, who has five goals in 25 games. "Jake's been one of our best players, if not our best player, for a long period now."

The Penguins (12-8-5) conclude a five-game road trip Friday night at the Washington Capitals.

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