Dupuis, Asham hurt in loss to New Jersey

| Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. -- A year defined by injuries saw the Penguins lose two more players in their final game of 2011.

Forward Pascal Dupuis sustained an upper-body injury late in the first period and did not return.

Then, in the second period, right wing Arron Asham injured his foot while blocking a shot. Sensing the injury could be serious, Asham immediately hobbled to the bench and walked directly to the Penguins' locker room.

Neither player returned.

Coach Dan Bylsma said after the game that he was unsure of the nature or severity of the injuries, which essentially relegated the Penguins to nine forwards, as enforcer Steve MacIntyre played only 47 seconds on a shift early in the first period.

The Penguins sent forward Jason Williams to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a day earlier.

Sykora scoring

Former Penguins right wing Petr Sykora is back in New Jersey, where he enjoyed most of his NHL success, and is thriving again for the Devils. He has scored 10 goals this season.

Bylsma said he wasn't surprised to see Sykora playing so well, but New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer's expectations were exceeded.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't say I was surprised," DeBoer said. "My expectation level with him wasn't high coming into camp."

Welcome back

Defenseman Deryk Engelland missed most of the first period after getting hit on the foot with a shot during his first shift. He returned late in the period and played the remainder of the game. Engelland yesterday returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 20. He had been suspended three games for a hit to the head against Chicago's Marcus Kruger.

Getting closer

Injured defenseman Paul Martin and injured center Richard Park did not play but could return next week. Martin made the trip to New Jersey, while Park stayed home.

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