Jeffrey returns from minors to Penguins
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The Penguins recalled forward Dustin Jeffrey from his conditioning assignment with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Tuesday, but that does not mean he will become a regular in the lineup.
He is still dealing with the effects of April surgery on his right knee.
"Dustin went down there to get more minutes, more game situations, [get] put in different types of roles -- power play, top minutes, penalty kill, even defensive situations," coach Dan Bylsma said.
"Playing those minutes showed he still needs to do some rehabbing."
Jeffrey did not arrive in time for the game-day skate and did not play Tuesday night against Colorado at Consol Energy Center.
He played in two games for the American Hockey League affiliate, with one assist, but sat out a third game. Bylsma said Jeffrey was scratched because of the effects of playing a lot in the two earlier games.
"That's going to be part of it for Dustin -- he needs to get strong and continue to rehab while he progresses," Bylsma said.
Jeffrey, 23, missed the first eight games of the season. He had no points in limited minutes over six games before his Wilkes-Barre assignment.
Forward Richard Park, 35, played in the Swiss-A League last season, so there was no guarantee he would play the 16 NHL games he needed to reach 700.
He hit that mark Tuesday after rejoining the Penguins, his original NHL team, in the offseason and was philosophical about the milestone.
"I think it's just a number," Park said. "I don't think you really can dissect it one way or the other. I think the only fact that really comes along with it is you're getting older."
He said that "it's a lot of hockey," but figured he would leave it to others to validate his achievement.
"I think a lot of things that other people take note of, you will reflect on at a later date," Park said. "When you're in the thick of things, you don't push the pause button on life and reflect at that moment.
"It's something you can be proud of, but you've got to make it to 701."
The game against the Avalanche was the first in a stretch of five where the Penguins will play every other night. Defenseman Alexandre Picard already is loving it.
He began the season in the AHL, where it is not uncommon to play three games in three nights.
"The ideal schedule is right now, playing every two nights with a day of rest in between, and, if you travel, then you have time to recuperate," Picard said.
"Especially, if you've been accustomed to the American Hockey League schedule, this is really easy compared to that."
The travel involved in this part of the schedule is not just a hop over to the New York-Philadelphia corridor within the Atlantic Division -- there are games Thursday at Tampa Bay and Saturday at Florida -- but the north-south flights trump two trips to the Pacific time zone, which the Penguins had earlier in the season.
"Time zones are what get you, especially coming back from the West Coast," defenseman Matt Niskanen said. "It can really mess with your sleep patterns."
Left winger Eric Tangradi was a healthy scratch for the Penguins. ... There was no update on Penguins center and captain Sidney Crosby (concussion). ... Although winger Tyler Kennedy was taken off of injured reserve and in the lineup against the Avalanche after missing 11 games because of a concussion, the Penguins did not have to make another move because they had been operating with 22 players, one below the NHL roster limit. ... Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis left the morning skate after about 10 minutes to receive stitches in his face but was in the lineup.
First Published November 16, 2011 12:00 am