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Penguins' Martin (fractured tibia) joins injury list

by Wes Crosby

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will rearrange their lineup Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Consol Energy Center after another set of injuries.

Forwards Beau Bennett (wrist) and Tanner Glass (hand) and defenseman Paul Martin (leg) sustained injuries during the Penguins' recent two-game road trip. Bennett had surgery on his wrist and will be out 8-10 weeks, Martin will miss 4-6 weeks, and Glass will be sidelined for 3-4 weeks.

Martin played with a fractured tibia for some time during the third period of Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Monday, according to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

Their injuries add to a list including defenseman Rob Scuderi (ankle), forward Chuck Kobasew (lower body) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (blood clot).

"It is a condensed schedule. Practice time is more like recovery time than it is in most seasons because of the break in the middle of the year," Bylsma said. "For us, if you break a bone, you kind of break a bone. I don't think that’s a factor of being tired or not."

Pittsburgh recalled forward Andrew Ebbett on Tuesday, and forward Jayson Megna, forward Chris Conner and defenseman Simon Despres from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League on Wednesday morning.

The Penguins' top-six forwards will look familiar; Pascal Dupuis will rejoin Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, and Jussi Jokinen will skate alongside Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. But the bottom six and defensive pairings will be adjusted.

Brandon Sutter will play with two new linemates, Conner and Ebbett, and Megna will join Joe Vitale and Craig Adams. Pittsburgh's defensive pairings rotated in its morning skate, but Kris Letang will be paired with Brooks Orpik.

"There are always a lot of injuries, a lot of call-ups," Orpik said. "Guys are used to adjusting their games accordingly. Every one brings a different style to the table, but you just try to focus on yourself and there's little things you tinker with. Most of us have played with each other at some point."

Despres, who was second in points among Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s defensemen with 11, could make his NHL season debut.

"I'm happy to be back and will try to contribute to the team's success," Despres said. "I went back down [to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton] and work harder and come back stronger. That was my mindset."

The Penguins have battled injuries throughout the season's first two months. Neal missed 15 games with an upper-body injury and Letang missed the season's first nine games with an injured knee. Bennett missed 11 games with a previous lower-body injury.

Pittsburgh holds a five-point lead over the Washington Capitals atop the Metropolitan Division and Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said that is a testament to the Penguins' depth.

"We're playing against world-class players and the best player in the League this year [Crosby]," Carlyle said. "They haven't got a bad second-line center [Malkin] either. He seems to get some things done for them. They have more than just Crosby and Malkin also. They have Neal back and Kunitz has had a great year.

"They have a lot of firepower and a lot of things are going well for them. If there is a template we could copy, it would be the Pittsburgh model."

Here are the expected lineups for the Penguins and Maple Leafs:


Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

Jussi JokinenEvgeni MalkinJames Neal

Chris ConnerBrandon SutterAndrew Ebbett

Craig AdamsJoe VitaleJayson Megna

Kris LetangBrooks Orpik

Olli MaattaDeryk Engelland

Simon DespresMatt Niskanen

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Zach Sill

Injured: Beau Bennett (wrist), Tanner Glass (hand), Paul Martin (lower body), Chuck Kobasew (lower body), Rob Scuderi (ankle), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)


James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Mason RaymondNazem KadriDavid Clarkson

Jay McClementPeter HollandNikolai Kulemin

Frazer McLarenJerred SmithsonColton Orr

Dion PhaneufCarl Gunnarsson

Mark FraserCody Franson

Paul RangerMorgan Rielly

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Scratched: Troy Bodie, Trevor Smith, John-Michael Liles, Jake Gardiner

Injured: Dave Bolland (ankle), Joffrey Lupul (groin)

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