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Pens Roundup: Bennett Nearing Return

by Dave Uhrmacher / Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins winger Beau Bennett skated with the team for the fifth consecutive day on Friday, continuing his progression back to the lineup.

“Another good day today,” Bennett said. “It keeps getting better the more I skate. It feels like I am on track. It will be the coaches’ decision for (Saturday vs. St. Louis).”

Bennett, 21, has not played since being placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury retroactive to Oct. 12.

“We saw him practice with a regular line and on the power play and he most likely will be an option for us tomorrow,” head coach Dan Bylsma said.

Bennett said it helped he had been able to maintain his conditioning to an extent off the ice before he was able to return to skating.

“It will definitely be another level getting back into game shape, but I feel good in practice and the next step is just playing in games,” Bennett said.

Defenseman Paul Martin missed a second straight practice on Friday for another maintenance day, but Bylsma said Martin is probable to play Saturday night in St. Louis.

Winger Pascal Dupuis practiced after having a maintenance day on Thursday and missing the third period of Wednesday’s game against the Rangers. Dupuis said today he “felt good” and when asked if there was any reason he wouldn’t be able to play Saturday, he responded, “No reason, as far as I'm concerned. I feel like I can play, for sure.”

Winger James Neal, who resumed skating with the team on Thursday, was also a full participant in practice on Friday. He has been on injured reserve after leaving the regular-season opener with an upper-body injury.

Byslma hinted forward Matt D’Agostini might crack the lineup Saturday night in St. Louis against his former team after being scratched in the Penguins’ previous four games.

“There is some thought to him, being it is his former team, prior to being in New Jersey,” Bylsma said. “So, yes it does go into it. We are going to go with the lineup that gives us the best chance to win in that game.”

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