By Stephanie Watson

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Penguins fans were still confident as they headed into the CONSOL Energy Center to watch the Pens take on the Columbus Blue Jackets without Sid Crosby.

He missed his 14th straight game because of a concussion.

“I think Cooke will be able to step it up because he’s been able to step it up in the last couple of games and get us a couple of goals,” Keri Skelton said. “And also Jordon Staal because he wasn’t there the beginning of the season for a couple of weeks and he’s due for a big game I think.”

Fans are now learning Evgeni Malkin’s torn ACL and MCL in his right knee from Friday’s game against Buffalo could possibly have him out for the season.

“Malkin’s gone but I think yeah what they have left here they’re [going to] pick it up and be able to carry it,” Bill Bergey, of Apollo, said.

Many fans believe the veterans will carry the Pens into the playoffs even without Sid and Geno.

“I think they have enough to get to the playoffs right now,” Brooks Bratten, of Mt. Lebanon, said. “I think Marc-Andre Fleury is still one of the best goaltenders in the world and I still think Jordan Staal is still a heck of a player.”

The question now is if this team good enough to contend for a cup without their two star centers.

“Yeah, because the penalty killing is tremendous, the defense is tremendous and Marc-Andre Fleury is playing out of his mind,” Steve Besong, of Lee Township, said. “So I have no concerns about that. I think the defense will keep them in all the games.”

Others say it can’t happen without Crosby in the lineup.

“It’s tough without Sid,” Bratten said. “Without Sid, I don’t think they’ll be able to.”

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