The Penguins intend to be patient with Beau Bennett’s workload early on.
Bennett today skated on a line with Zach Boychuk and Tyler Kennedy, while Matt Cooke remained the second line left winger with Dustin Jeffrey at center as Evgeni Malkin didn’t practice and James Neal at right wing.
Head coach Dan Bylsma was playing coy on what the immediate plans were for Bennett in regards to his role this weekend vs Winnipeg tomorrow night and Buffalo Sunday afternoon. Bylsma in fact would not commit to whether Bennett will play vs the Jets and make his NHL debut Friday night.
What is known is that Bylsma plans to keep Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis together on the first line, leaving Bennett’s only ideal spot being with Malkin and Neal.
However, Bennett may be gradually moved into the that role as the Penguins don’t want to put too much on Bennett’s plate. We might still see Matt Cooke stay in the second line left wing spot for the next couple games with Bennett on the third line and seeing second unit power play time and getting certain shifts with Malkin and Neal.
Notes: Brandon Sutter and Evgeni Malkin did not practice and were given day off. Both are fine.