Penguins forward Beau Bennett will return to action soon. But not with Pittsburgh.
Bennett, 22, has been sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton so that he can see his first game action since a hand/wrist injury knocked him out of the lineup Nov. 22.
“The plan is for him to play a few games, probably starting (Saturday),” head coach Dan Bylsma said.
“I feel good. I’m just excited to play some games,” Bennett said following the team’s Friday afternoon practice at Southpointe. “It’s been a long time coming. It’s really fun being around the team. I can’t wait to get out there.”
Even though Bennett will be playing hockey soon, he will need more time to get back to the level at which he was playing at the time of the injury.
“My shot’s not where I want it to be,” Bennett said. “My legs feel as good as they’ve ever felt, hands are coming along. I feel pretty comfortable out there.”
Forward Joe Vitale did not practice Friday due to an upper-body injury and will be out of the lineup this weekend when the Pens host the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues at 1 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Forwards Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby also did not skate. They were given maintenance days.
NEW LOOK LIGHTNING
When the Pens host the Bolts on Saturday it will be the first time they will not have Martin St. Louis to shutdown. St. Louis, the reigning NHL scoring champion, was traded to the NY Rangers in exchange for Ryan Callahan and a 2015 first- and 2014 second-round picks.
“It’s different,” center Brandon Sutter said. “They’re two good players. Callahan brings a different element than St. Louis.”
“It will be strange not seeing (St. Louis),” forward Tanner Glass said.
On Sunday the Pens will host the NHL’s top team in the St. Louis Blues, who are currently the only team with over 100 points in the standings (101).