PITTSBURGH (AP) — The streaking Pittsburgh Penguins have lost their captain.
But that's OK, they say. Not only have the Penguins grown accustomed to playing without Sidney Crosby in recent years, they also just traded for two other team captains.
Pittsburgh went through its first practice Monday since learning that NHL scoring leader Crosby underwent surgery for a broken jaw that will keep him out of indefinitely.
Winners of 15 consecutive games, two shy of the NHL record for longest winning streak, the Penguins insist they can keep rolling without the face of their franchise.
"Obviously, it's a huge loss and the way Sid's been playing has been unbelievable," winger James Neal said. "Losing him stinks, but at the same time we've got some good depth on this team and that gives a chance for some guys to step up, and definitely for some new guys we just acquired to step up.
"I'm sure we'll be OK."
Pittsburgh's streak will be on the line Tuesday night against Buffalo.
Crosby was still hospitalized early Monday while his team went through a lengthy and spirited practice. It was the first time Jarome Iginla practiced with Pittsburgh after he was acquired from the Calgary Flames early Thursday. He made his Penguins game debut during Saturday's 2-0 win over the New York Islanders.
It was during Crosby's first shift of that game that he was struck in the mouth by a puck from Brooks Orpik's slap shot that was deflected into an unsuspecting Crosby.
Crosby had dental work performed in addition to facial surgery and the repairing of his jaw. The team also said there would be additional procedures performed this week.