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Neal among three Pens out tonight vs. Rangers

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Penguins winger James Neal is one of several players that will not play tonight against the New York Rangers at Consol Energy Center.

Neal is out with a lower-body injury, coach Dan Bylsma said after a morning practice today. He is expected to be available for the Stanley Cup playoffs, which will open next week.

Other Penguins not expected to play tonight are defenseman Matt Niskanen (upper body) and winger Steve Sullivan (lower body). Both, also, are expected to play when the postseason begins, Bylsma said.

"At this point they're expected to be ready for the playoffs," Bylsma said, though he did not disclose the manner in which any of the players were injured.

The Penguins won a physical game at the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.

The Penguins (49-25-6, 104 points) can lock up the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage in Round 1 of the playoffs with a win tonight over the Rangers. They lead the fifth-place Philadelphia Flyers, a likely first-round opponent, by three points.

Neal is second on the team in goals (40) and points (81).




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