SUNRISE, Fla. -- Right winger Tyler Kennedy has been practicing with the Penguins for the past several days, and seems to be getting close to returning to the lineup.
Not so close, though, that coach Dan Bylsma expects Kennedy to play when Montreal visits Mellon Arena at 7:38 p.m. tomorrow.
"I would think that's not [likely to happen]," Bylsma said yesterday.
Kennedy sat out the Penguins' game against Florida at the BankAtlantic Center last night because of what is believed to be a groin or hamstring injury. It was the 12th time in the past 13 games that he has been kept in street clothes.
Kennedy was not with the Penguins when they opened their three-game road trip in Ottawa Thursday, but was summoned after his workouts in Pittsburgh went well. He participated in their game-day skate yesterday after making it through a demanding workout a day earlier.
"We brought him in here because he was progressing with no pain at home," he said. "[Sunday] was a big test, and [yesterday], he didn't go as hard as [Sunday], but he did some battling out there to test it in that regard. Hopefully, he's progressing."
When it comes to shots on goal, Bylsma believes quantity is more important than quality.
"I would rather have 45 OK shots than 22 good ones, where you have maybe 15 scoring chances," he said. "If you get 45, that means you're in the offensive zone, you're around the [net], you're winning [loose] pucks, you're staying there longer, your power play is probably adding to that number.
"There are shots that I think you can make a better decision on but, generally speaking, if you're getting the puck to the [net] with guys going there and it's around offensive-zone time, those are the kind of numbers you want to see. I'll take it every night, 45."
The Penguins were averaging 31.6 shots per game before facing the Panthers.
Panthers forward David Booth hasn't played since suffering a concussion when he absorbed a hard hit to the head by Philadelphia center Mike Richards a month ago, and DeBoer suggested that he probably shouldn't expect to play anytime soon.
Booth was in Florida's locker room after the Panthers' game-day skate, but not because he'd been on the ice. Or done anything else remotely strenuous, for that matter, because of the problems it causes for him.
"I used to try to do that stuff," he said. "Now, I just don't do it anymore. It really is [frustrating].
"I guess it's just part of the process. I'm not used to this. Usually [when a player is injured], you can do something, so it's really, really frustrating."
Booth even has to be wary of overdoing some activities that involve no physical demands.
"I don't watch TV," he said. "I'll read for 15 minutes, take a break and then pick it up again. I don't want to get too much stimulation."
Panthers coach Peter DeBoer, on the 3-5-1 home record Florida took into last night's game: "I thought we established our identity as [last] season went on of this not being just a place to come and lay on the beach and get some sun and pick up two points. We've had a slow start, but I think it's fixable."... Lowell MacDonald, left winger on the Century Line with Syl Apps and Jean Pronovost, attended their game-day skate. He is the father of the FSN Pittsburgh hockey producer with the same name.
Dave Molinari can be reached at email@example.com .