Kunitz (lower body) week-to-week, placed on IR

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Chris Kunitz, off to a nice start this year with 11 points through 18 games, will be out on a week-to-week basis with his lower body injury, Pens head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed on Monday.

In a related move, the Pens placed Kunitz on IR and recalled Jake Guentzel from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Kunitz, 37, was originally hurt in last Wednesday’s blowout loss to Washington, but returned to play this weekend — and actually picked up three assists in games against the Isles and Sabres. The club hasn’t revealed the nature or severity of the injury, but the IR and week-to-week designation suggest it’s more than simply being banged up.

With Kunitz and Patric Hornqvist out — the latter is dealing with a concussion, also suffered in the aforementioned Caps game — the Pens had a decidedly new look up front at Monday’s practice.

Conor Sheary jumped to first line duties with Sidney Crosby and Carl Hagelin, while Guentzel moved onto the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel.

The Pens are back in action tonight, when they host the Rangers at PPG Paints.