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The Pittsburgh Penguins' playoff hopes received a devastating blow Thursday. The Penguins have announced winger Jake Guentzel is heading to injured reserve with an undisclosed injury, and he is expected to miss four weeks.

Guentzel, who plays alongside Sidney Crosby on the Penguins' top line, has been having a tremendous season. He is second on the team in goals (22), tied for first in assists (30) and tied for first in points (52).

If Guentzel does miss the full four weeks, he will be out for Pittsburgh's next 14 games, putting a huge dent into the team's already waning playoff chances. The Penguins are currently seven points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the East's final playoff spot, and they have lost three straight games in regulation. The loss of Guentzel only makes the playoff picture more bleak.

Pittsburgh has leaned heavily on its top six forwards this season, and Guentzel has been one of the best. This also won't do the Pens' miserable power play any favors either.

With Guentzel set to return on Mach. 7, one day before the NHL trade deadline, that presents an interesting dilemma for general manager Kyle Dubas. Guentzel is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and if Pittsburgh's playoff chances keep sinking toward zero, he might be in a different jersey on March 8.