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Penguins' Kunitz sits out practice, uncertain vs. Flyers

Thursday, 03.13.2014 / 7:40 PM NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz did not practice Thursday and his status for a home-and-home series this weekend against the Philadelphia Flyers is uncertain.

Kunitz's absence was described by coach Dan Bylsma as a maintenance day after Kunitz collided with the goal post in a 2-0 win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. He was checked by Capitals defenseman Mike Green and was flat on the ice when he slid into the post, but returned after missing one shift.

"The collision he had at the net, you know you're going to be dealing with a contusion or you're going to be dealing with a heavy blow to the leg," Bylsma told the Penguins website Thursday. "He hit his ankle first on the one skate, and then we saw him hit above the knee on the second one.

"So yes, you think he probably wasn't feeling too good [Wednesday]. Better during the game and not as well [Wednesday] and still dealing with it [Thursday]."

Forward James Neal also sat out practice for a maintenance day.

"We'll re-evaluate [Friday] and hopefully see them both back with us," Bylsma said.

Brian Gibbons took Kunitz's place on a line with Sidney Crosby and Lee Stempniak. Beau Bennett took Neal's usual spot alongside Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen.

Pittsburgh plays at Philadelphia on Saturday (1 p.m. ET: NHLN-US) and at home on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC).

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