On Monday, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters that forward James Neal has suffered a concussion, and won’t travel with the team on its upcoming road trip through Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida.
Neal, 25, was injured during Friday’s 2-1 shootout win over the Rangers following this third-period hit by New York defenseman Michael Del Zotto:
Neal left the game with 8:42 left and didn’t return. Del Zotto wasn’t penalized on the play and later told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he was bracing himself during the collision.
“I think they just dumped [the puck] in, and I knew I was going to get hit on the forecheck,” he explained. “I just tried to kind of reverse hit and brace myself. I’m not sure exactly what happened.”
On Saturday, it was learned the NHL wouldn’t be scheduling a disciplinary hearing for Del Zotto.
Neal, who has no previous history of concussions, is Pittsburgh’s third-leading scorer this season with 18G-14A-32PTS.
He’s coming off a 2011-12 season in which he scored a career-high 40 goals and was named to his first NHL All-Star Game.