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Penguins need scoring relief without stars

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sidney Crosby's return date from a concussion is still unknown. Evgeni Malkin is headed toward surgery and won't play again until next season. Chris Kunitz is day to day, and Mike Comrie, Mark Letestu and Arron Asham are all sidelined with various injuries.

May as well add one more Pittsburgh Penguin to the out-of-action bunch.

At least the Penguins know for sure when forward Matt Cooke will return to the lineup. He'll be back once he's done serving a four-game suspension, brought down by the NHL on Wednesday.

Indeed, it is a tough time for the short-handed Penguins. How much do they miss their injured stars? Well, they have just one goal combined in consecutive losses. And they're not catching any breaks with the schedule, either.

The Penguins are home Thursday to play Los Angeles. Then they head into a rugged stretch, playing nine of 11 games on the road.

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