Beau Bennett is hurt again and will be out until after the All-Star break.
By Seth Rorabaugh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The return of Penguins right winger Beau Bennett was short-lived.
Bennett will be out until after the All-Star break this weekend after he aggravated a right shoulder injury in a 5-4 home win Saturday against Vancouver.
Coach Mike Sullivan did not provide many details on Bennett’s ailment and said more information would be available after the break.
Bennett appeared to be in discomfort when he hit Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa with his right shoulder on a forecheck at 4:36 in the second period. Bennett briefly went to the dressing room but returned to the bench. He did not record a shift for the final 18:08 of regulation.
“I can't remember the play offhand, but he obviously aggravated his situation through the course of the game,” Sullivan said. “I'm not sure if it was that particular play.”
Bennett returned to the lineup Saturday after previously being out 17 games due to the injury. He did not participate in practice Monday at Consol Energy Center.
Kunitz, Letang rest
Left winger Chris Kunitz and defenseman Kris Letang did not participate in practice, either. Sullivan labeled each of their absences as “maintenance days.” Sullivan said Kunitz would be a game-time decision for a home game tonight against New Jersey.
Kunitz missed the Saturday game due to a back or neck ailment which has been described as a “stinger.” Letang has missed practices regularly since suffering a suspected right hand or arm injury in a 5-4 overtime loss Jan. 15 against Tampa Bay.
“Kris is going to play as long as he’s healthy to play,” Sullivan said. “And part of the process is our job to manage the bumps and bruises and manage it in such a way that we can get him through it.”
Sheary skates on Crosby line
Left winger Conor Sheary skated in place of Kunitz on the top line with center Sidney Crosby and right winger Patric Hornqvist in practice.
Playing with Crosby is a unique challenge.
“It’s almost like he’s always a step ahead of you, so you kind of have to think quick,” Sheary said. “He plays a fast, up-pace game and to keep up with him and to make plays with him is pretty tough.”
“He thinks in different ways than most guys do.“
Sheary has been limited to three points (two goals, one assist) in 15 games this season, but Sullivan has looked beyond his production.
“It’s more about his overall play,” Sullivan said. “Just his quickness, his urgency, his strength on the puck. I think when Conor is at his best, he’s forcing turnovers. He’s got a really good stick. He’s hurrying defensemen. I think he sees the ice real well. I think he’s fielding pucks clean and making plays. So that’s his game that he needs to bring to this level to become a consistent NHL player.”
“He’s going through a process right now that, when he brings that, we try to move him up the lineup. We’ve used him in a lot of capacities. And for the most part, his overall body of work has been solid.”
Seth Rorabaugh: srorabaugh@post-gazette and Twitter @emptynetters.
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