Latest injury created some doubts for the Penguins' Beau Bennett
March 5, 2016 12:00 AM
Penguins right winger Beau Bennett has missed 33 of the past 34 games due to a right shoulder injury.
By Seth Rorabaugh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In his four seasons with the Penguins, right winger Beau Bennett has developed a pretty healthy sense of humor.
It’s one of the few parts of Bennett which could be described as healthy.
Various injuries have derailed much of Bennett’s career since the Penguins made him a first-round pick in 2010. Despite two wrist surgeries, a litany of vague ”upper-” and ”lower-body” injuries and even a bout of mumps, Bennett always has been able to poke fun at his misfortunes.
His latest ailment — a recurring right shoulder injury — made him doubt his hockey career, even if just for a moment .
“Right when it happened. I just texted my family and was like, ‘I don’t know if hockey is the right sport,’” he said. “Like stuff like that is your initial thought if you keep getting injured. I don’t want to say, ‘Why me?’ but I’ve had some tough luck. I’ve just got to work hard and, hopefully, put this behind me. The good thing is I’m only 24, and I try to take these times when I’m out to actually still get better, still get stronger and I think I’ve done that so far.”
Bennett initially injured the shoulder Dec. 12 the re-injured it Jan. 23. As a result, he has missed 33 out of the past 34 games. He participated in practice Friday at Consol Energy Center for the first time since re-injuring it.
“Just to be out there around the guys, it’s definitely a boost to the confidence,” Bennett said. “I’m actually in pretty good shape right now just having skated so much the last three weeks.”
Center Eric Fehr, out since Feb. 2 due to an undisclosed injury, also participated in practice. Neither player offered a timetable for a return.
Porter’s season ends
Center Kevin Porter’s season effectively came to an end Friday after ankle surgery.
Porter was injured Thursday in a 4-1 home win against the New York Rangers. At 17:48 of the first period, he got tangled up with Rangers left winger Viktor Stalberg and fell into the Penguins’ right corner with his right leg pinned awkwardly against the boards. Porter limped to the bench and toward the dressing room.
A free-agent signing this past offseason, Porter has played in 41 game and has three assists.
To replace Porter, the Penguins call up right winger Josh Archibald from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. Archibald, 23, has appeared in 51 AHL games this season and has 14 points (eight goals, six assists). A sixth-round pick in 2011, he is expected to make his NHL debut in a home game this afternoon against the Calgary Flames.
Fleury on Lundqvist, Part II
A day after he described Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s removal of a net to halt play in the game Thursday as “baby stuff,” Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he was not aware Lundqvist suffered a neck ailment prior to the bizarre sequence. Beyond that, Fleury declined further comment.
After Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh collided with him, Lundqvist took a delay-of-game penalty after shoving his net off its moorings at 6:17 of the second period. After the game, New York coach Alain Vigneault suggested Lundqvist was trying to alert officials of his injury. Vigneault pulled Lundqvist for what were described as neck spasms. With Lundqvist unable to play in the road game Friday against the Washington Capitals, the Rangers call up goaltender Magnus Hellberg from Hartford of the AHL.
When asked about Fleury’s comments, Vigneault told reporters in Washington, ”Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.”
Center Evgeni Malkin skipped practice for what was termed a “maintenance day.” ... Sullivan said Fleury would start the game today against Calgary. ... The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins assigned right winger Tyler Biggs to the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. A first-round pick in 2011 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Penguins acquired Biggs this past offseason as part of a trade which netted right winger Phil Kessel.
Seth Rorabaugh: email@example.com and Twitter @emptynetters.
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