Penguins' Staal back on the ice for practice, but not tonight's game

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OTTAWA -- Penguins center Jordan Staal, recovering from a broken right hand, took part in the Penguins' morning skate today at Scotiabank Place.

Staal won't be in the lineup tonight against the Senators, but he's not ruling out a return in time for Saturday's outdoor Winter Classic against Washington at Heinz Field.

"I don't know," Staal said after skating for nearly an hour. "I feel really good. Things are going in the right direction. If all is well, you never know."

Staal had not practiced with his teammates since Nov. 1, when he got hit by a shot. He required surgery on his hand, and his recovery has taken a little longer than originally hoped.

Staal, one of the top two-way forwards in the NHL, has not played this season because of a foot infection and then the broken hand. Unlike during times he skated by himself recently, Staal was able to wear a glove on his right hand and stickhandle, although he did not skate on a particular line.

"There is no timeline right now," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "It's a first step, after having skated on his own, to get back with the team. We're going to see how his hand reacts to an increased level of contact. We didn't go full out with him today. We'll kind of adjust as we go along."


Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1721.


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