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Pens' Jordan Staal injured against Islanders

Jordan Staal #11 of the Pittsburgh Penguins prepares for a face off against the New York Islanders on November 26, 2008 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Jim McIsaac/2008 Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be missing more than Sidney Crosby when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night - centre Jordan Staal did not make the trip either.

Staal was injured during a game Thursday in a collision with New York Islanders forward John Tavares. He left the ice briefly but returned and finished the game. He did not practice Friday but that did not arouse suspicion because the practice was optional.

The Penguins went on to beat the Islanders 3-2 in a shootout.

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Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said after the Penguins' game-day skate that Staal has a "lower-body injury" from the Tavares collision. He said Staal did not make the trip to Toronto because he would not have played anyway but expects him to practice with the team on Monday. The coach said he does not think Staal will be out of the lineup for long "at this time."

Mark Letestu will replace Staal for the game against the Leafs. Backup goaltender Brent Johnson will start for the Penguins.


On the Leafs' side of the ice, Jonas Gustavsson will once again start in goal for James Reimer, who has either a neck or head injury. Reimer did take part in the Leafs' game-day skate and is eligible to come off the injured-reserve list on Sunday.

However, Leafs head coach Ron Wilson, who said Friday he expected Reimer to be ready to play in Sunday's game in Ottawa against the Senators, toned down his expectations. He said Saturday that Reimer was "doubtful" for Sunday because he has not had enough practice time.

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About the Author
Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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