After developing a headache following a game last week, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby was originally expected to return from a two-game absence in time to face the Detroit Red Wings.
The Penguins, however, don't want to rush their star center back too quickly.
Still dealing with a recurrence of concussion-like symptoms, Crosby will not play Tuesday night in the lone meeting of the season between the Penguins and Red Wings.
The day after a Dec. 5 loss to Boston, Crosby said he didn't feel right. He passed an ImPact test - designed to diagnose concussions - on Wednesday and was slated to miss two games as a precaution, but concussion-like symptoms returned over the weekend.
The Penguins (17-9-4) are not about to take any chances considering Crosby returned only three weeks ago from a concussion he suffered in January.
"Not (feeling) bad. I'm not happy about watching, but I have to make sure with these sort of things that I'm careful and making sure I'm 100 percent before coming back," said Crosby, who has two goals and 10 assists in eight games. "No timetable (for return)."
The 2007 Hart Trophy winner doesn't believe his condition is nearly as severe as what he experienced last season, but acknowledged it could be awhile before he plays.
"The ImPACT isn't everything," he said. "You've got to listen to your body on these things too."
The Penguins are 5-2-1 with Crosby, but have grown quite accustomed to playing without their captain over the last 10 months. They defeated the New York Islanders 6-3 on Saturday, and won both games against the Red Wings (18-9-1) last season while Crosby was sidelined.
Pittsburgh has won seven of the last nine meetings with Detroit, including the 2009 Stanley Cup finals.
Pascal Dupuis had two goals and two assists against the Red Wings last season, and scored his ninth goal of 2011-12 on Saturday. James Neal led the way against the Islanders with two goals, increasing his team-leading total to 17.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves, but allowed three goals for the third straight game and seventh time in his last eight contests.
Detroit's Jimmy Howard has been far more effective between the pipes, yielding two goals or fewer in eight of 10 outings since Nov. 19, going 9-1-0 with a 1.79 goals-against average in that span.
He stopped 29 shots in Saturday's 7-1 win over Winnipeg. The Jets took a 1-0 lead after only 35 seconds, but it was all Detroit after that. Jiri Hudler scored twice, while Valtteri Filppula, Todd Bertuzzi and Henrik Zetterberg each had a goal and an assist. Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk, who are each tied for the team lead with 28 points, added two assists apiece.
"We kept staying on them and did the right things," Bertuzzi said.
Hudler has suddenly snapped out of his scoring slump, finding the back of the net in three straight games after going 20 consecutive contests without a goal.
Filppula has also been lighting the lamp with regularity lately, tallying seven goals and four assists in his last eight games.
The Red Wings play 11 of their next 14 games on the road beginning with this matchup in Pittsburgh, which is tied with the New York Rangers for the Eastern Conference's top home record at 8-2-2.
Fleury has a 1.98 GAA in 11 games at the Consol Energy Center, and is 2-1-0 with a 1.63 GAA in three starts against the Red Wings since the Stanley Cup.
Howard is 1-0-1 with a 2.28 GAA in three career starts against the Penguins, though he was pulled after stopping 11 of 15 shots in the last meeting, a 5-4 shootout loss March 21.