Pens forward Beau Bennett “aggravated his situation through the course of the (Vancouver) game” and will not play in Pittsburgh’s contest against New Jersey on Tuesday, the final game before the All-Star break.
“(Bennett) is being evaluated as we speak,” Sullivan said following Monday’s practice at CONSOL Energy Center. “We won’t have more details on his situation until after the All-Star break.”
Bennett had just returned to the lineup against the Canucks on Saturday after missing the previous 17 games with a shoulder injury.
Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz were also absent from the team’s practice. Both were given maintenance days and will be game-time decisions for Tuesday.
THIS ‘N AT *Phil Kessel on Carl Hagelin: “He’s a little faster than me. I have to keep up with him out there. He’s been great for our line so far. He’s made plays and improved our line.”
*Kessel on Evgeni Malkin: “He’s scored quite a few goals for us this year and at important times.”
*Trevor Daley on the Pens’ slow starts: “You don’t want to put yourself in that position, but I thought we responded well to it. Not the ideal thing, but at the end of the day we got 2 points. That’s what we set out to get.”
*Sullivan on team speed: “I believe that when you watch today’s game, the teams that have success, speed is a competitive advantage for them. It’s all of its forms. It’s skating speed, mind speed, team speed. You’re ability to move the puck and change the point of attack, get your defensemen involved in the rush. Your transition from offense to defense or defense to offense. Those are the aspects of the game that are so critically important to help the team win.
“When you look at the makeup of our team, our core guys want to play a speed game. They don’t want to play a slow down, territory-type game. They want to play a fast game. That’s their strengths. When we look at our core guys we are trying to build an identity around their strengths. That’s why I’ve spoken of speed and the importance of it, as far as helping us win.”
*Sidney Crosby on the Pens’ identity: “It’s getting there. We have to improve on our starts, but when we do get to our game we have a good idea of what that looks like. We’ve been fairly consistent about giving ourselves a chance to win games. That’s the biggest thing, especially at this time of year. You can’t waste any.”
*Brian Dumoulin on the team’s slow starts: “The positives are that we’re resilient. We’re showing that even with a bad bounce, or down by 1 or 2 goals we can comeback. With that we’re also putting ourselves in holes. It’s a situation we don’t want to be in, having numerous amounts of games having to comeback. That’s not a good thing to do. We have to figure out how to play better from the drop of the puck.”
*The Pens used the following workflow at practice… Sheary-Crosby-Hornqvist Hagelin-Malkin-Kessel Kuhnhackl-Fehr-Rust Plotnikov-Cullen-Porter