Continued from page 1

“There’s definitely a void on the ice, in the locker room (without Neal),” Kunitz said. “He’s the kind of guy that will come around and chirp guys, make things a little lighter in the dressing room. On the ice, his ability to create space for himself and shoot a puck is something this team hasn’t seen for awhile.”

The news isn’t quite so bad for defenseman Kris Letang, who skated with his teammates for the first since sustaining a lower body injury last month. Letang has missed Pittsburgh’s last five games but could be ready sometime this week.

“I don’t know, it’ll be up to the coach,” Letang said. “There’s no rush to get back, but at the same time it’s a short season. I want to start playing, being healthy and ready to go for the playoffs.”