June 25, 2024

Winger Jake Guentzel’s absence during the third period of Wednesday’s game against the Florida Panthers was attributed to an upper-body injury, according to Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.

Jake Guentzel did not participate in Pittsburgh’s last 11:58 of their 5-2 defeat at the hands of Florida. The forward is being evaluated for an upper-body ailment, according to head coach Mike Sullivan.

— @FriedgeHNIC, Elliotte Friedman 15 February 2024
The last 11:58 of the Penguins’ 5-2 loss to the Panthers saw Guentzel, 29, not play. Though it didn’t seem like a single play was the reason for the injury, he did take a few knocks, which might have contributed to some sort of problem for him.

We’ll have to wait for more information regarding the severity of the injury and Guentzel’s projected comeback date, unless this is just Pittsburgh playing enigmatic after a deal.

After 18:30 of ice time, Guentzel finished the game with three shots, a hit, and an assist.

With 52 points from 50 games for the Penguins, including 22 goals and 30 assists, the Nebraska, Omaha native is having yet another fantastic season. With any luck, he won’t be forced to start the game below 85 points, which would be a career-high for him.

After being selected by the Penguins in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Guentzel has played his whole eight-season NHL career with Pittsburgh, having made his league debut in the 2016–17 campaign.

One of the main reasons Guentzel is a possible trade target for teams at the 2024 trade deadline is because he is now in the final year of a five-year contract with a $6 million cap charge. He will also be an unrestricted free agency in the 2024 offseason.

With a 23-20-7 record, the Penguins are now seven points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the final wild card place in the Eastern Conference and eighth in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh’s journey to Chicago to play the Blackhawks on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST will be their attempt to snap their three-game losing run.

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jake Guentzel left game vs. Panthers with upper-body injury

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