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Guentzel out up to 4 weeks with upper-body injury

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The Pittsburgh Penguins announced star winger Jake Guentzel will miss up to four weeks due to an upper-body injury sustained in Wednesday's loss to the Florida Panthers.

Guentzel's absence could be a major blow to Pittsburgh's already perilous playoff chances, as the club currently sits seven points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and is 11 points back of a divisional seed.

The 29-year-old is tied with Sidney Crosby for the team lead with 52 points, and ranks second with 22 goals in 50 games. Guentzel is in the final year of his contract and has been floated around as a potential trade candidate before the March 8 deadline.

General manager Kyle Dubas said in January that trade talk surrounding Guentzel is "pure speculation," and the player has previously stated he's open to signing an extension.

The Penguins drafted Guentzel in the third round in 2013. He's recorded 466 points in 503 career games and helped the club win the Stanley Cup in 2017.

Pittsburgh projects Guentzel could return to the lineup in early March. He has recovered early from one injury already in 2023-24, beating a 12-week timeline after offseason ankle surgery in time to play the season opener.

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