For the second straight season, Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner will miss games because of a concussion.

The team announced Wednesday that Skinner, who absorbed some big hits last week against the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be sidelined indefinitely. Skinner was out 16 games last season following a concussion in early December.

Skinner, the left wing on Jordan Staal’s line, is the Canes’ second-leading scorer with seven goals and seven assists. He did not play Monday in Carolina’s 3-0 loss to Montreal and was absent at the team’s past three practices.

Who replaces Skinner? Good question. The Canes (8-5-1), who host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, have been a team that has leaned heavily on its top two lines for its points.

The Canes have gotten 29 goals and 38 assists from their top six forwards. Total production from the third and fourth lines: four goals, seven assists.

While a big disparity, Canes coach Kirk Muller said it’s also typical of what’s happening throughout the NHL in an unusual season that began on the fly.

"Other than Pittsburgh, which has a little more depth, with a lot of teams it seems this year it’s the top couple of lines (scoring) – that’s the trend," Muller said. "The third and fourth lines are not giving a lot of offense.

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