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Staal 'day to day' with lower-body injury

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By Josh Yohe
Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011
 

UNIONDALE, NY -- When healthy, the Penguins are considered among the NHL's finest teams.

But whether good health ever blesses the Penguins again is becoming a legitimate question.

Center Jordan Staal missed Saturday's game against the New York Islanders with what the team called a "lower-body injury."

Coach Dan Bylsma said Staal was injured in Philadelphia and is "day to day."

The injury is not believed to be serious.

Forward Jason Williams, a veteran of 447 NHL games, was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to replace Staal. Williams signed with the Penguins during the summer.

The Penguins are Williams' sixth NHL team. He has produced three goals and 17 points in 20 games in Wilkes-Barre.

Playing without centers Sidney Crosby (headache) and Richard Park (lower-body), the Penguins were forced to move right wing Pascal Dupuis to center.

Defenseman Deryk Engelland returned to the lineup, but the blue line remains depleted. Kris Letang, Zbynek Michalek and Robert Bortuzzo are out indefinitely with concussions; Ben Lovejoy is out for a few more weeks with a broken wrist; and Brian Strait has been out since October with a wrist injury.

Sid's status uncertain

The Penguins previously had said Crosby would miss Thursday's game in Philadelphia and last night's game against the Islanders.

Bylsma, however, did not commit to having Crosby suit up Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Bylsma yesterday offered only a vague answer when discussing injured players who did not make this road trip and their upcoming availability.

"There was not ice available today for our rehabbing guys back in Pittsburgh," Bylsma said. "They are working out, but I don't have anticipation about anything other than getting past this game and getting home and evaluating where they're at."

Pittsburgh's own

Upper St. Clair native Dylan Reese dressed for the Islanders. Reese, who entered the game with one goal in four games, has been up and down between the Islanders and the minor leagues for the past two seasons.

"I think I'm playing some really good hockey right now," Reese said. "I'm happy with where my game is right now."

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