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Penguins' Sullivan sits, snaps 74-game playing streak

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Steve Sullivan missed Sunday night's game against New Jersey with an undisclosed lower-body injury, ending a streak of 74 straight games for the veteran forward. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma called Sullivan's status "day to day" and expected his absence "to be short-term at this time."

Sullivan was injured Saturday in Ottawa and did not play the third period. Sullivan (5-foot-8, 161 pounds) has a history of injuries. He had groin surgery last March when playing for the Nashville Predators. He also had a knee injury with Nashville, and a serious back injury a few years earlier that cost him the entire 2007-08 season.

Yet the 37-year-old left wing has shown durability during his first season with the Penguins and had played every game.

Sullivan has 14 goals and 28 assists, and he played on the top power-play unit in Sidney Crosby's absence. He left the Feb. 29 game in Dallas with a lower-body injury and missed two days of practice, but he returned for the team's next game. Bylsma said this injury was similar to that injury.

• Matt Niskanen missed his second game with an upper-body injury, but Bylsma said the defenseman might rejoin the lineup within the next few days. Injured center Joe Vitale, who also missed yesterday's game, also could return.

"They're doing pretty well," Bylsma said. "Hopefully (they'll return) sometime this week."

• Dustin Jeffrey's month-long layoff ended Sunday when the forward played his first game since Feb. 29. Jeffrey, who had been a healthy scratch, has four goals and two assists in 26 games.

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