Penguins notebook: Bennett status remains fluid
Penguins coach Mike Johnston doesn’t believe left wing Beau Bennett is brittle. Rather, he views Bennett as unlucky.
The oft-injured Bennett, who has shown flashes this season when in the lineup, suffered a lower-body injury Monday against the Boston Bruins. Bennett returned briefly in the third period before being shut down by his head coach.
Bennett was the only Penguins player to miss practice Tuesday.
“They’re (doctors) going to evaluate him today,” Johnston said. “It’s a lower-body injury. He did come back, but I just didn’t feel like he was ready to play full out. We’ll see over the next 24 hours.”
The Penguins play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center and then have a home-and-home series against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday and Saturday.
Johnston didn’t say whether there is concern Bennett’s injury could be significant.
He did, however, disregard any notion that Bennett is too injury prone to play in the NHL.
“When you look at the injuries he’s had,” Johnston said, “it’s just the way things happen. Maybe it’s just a stroke of bad luck. He’s trained hard. He was ready for the start of the season. I’m convinced it’s just one of those things. For him, maybe this will be the end of it.”
Right wing Pascal Dupuis, out for at least six months because of a blood clot in his lungs, watched practice from the bench Tuesday at Consol Energy Center. Johnston said last week that he would like Dupuis to possess some kind of role with the coaching staff while he is unable to play.
The two haven’t met to discuss the specifics of the plan because of the Penguins’ busy schedule.
“I talked with him briefly this morning,” Johnston said. “We will connect over the next few days.”
Still No. 1
Forbes Magazine named Penguins’ fans the NHL’s best for a third consecutive season.
The annual study ranks respective fans bases on a number of categories, including attendance at home games, television ratings, social media reach and merchandise sales.
According to the survey, 56 percent of Pittsburgh residents consider themselves Penguins fans.
Letang loses assist
A scoring change was made on the Penguins’ first goal against Boston on Monday. Assists on Sidney Crosby’s goal have been given to right wing Patric Hornqvist and right wing Craig Adams. Defenseman Kris Letang originally was given an assist.
Center Sidney Crosby and Letang, coming off strong performances against the Bruins, worked on the ice for more than an hour after practice had concluded Tuesday at Consol Energy Center.
Change of color
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will wear bright yellow pads Wednesday to complement the Penguins’ third jerseys. He hasn’t worn that color of pads since the 2007-08 season.