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Penguins notebook: Martin could return vs. Flyers

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By Josh Yohe
Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 5:06 p.m.

Defenseman Paul Martin practiced with the Penguins on Tuesday and will skate with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar on Wednesday. Although no decision has been finalized on Martin's status, there remains a possibility he will return to the lineup Thursday against the Flyers.

Martin has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury.

“I think we'll see how (Wednesday) goes,” Martin said. “I'm getting better every day.”

Martin initially suffered the lower-body injury last week and did not properly rest the ailment, causing him to leave during a game against Carolina.

He is being more cautious this time.

“I rushed it last time,” he said.

Puck battles are affecting the injury more than skating. The Penguins worked on such battles along the boards extensively during Tuesday's practice at Southpointe, and Martin was pleased to report that his injury continually was improving.

“We did some stuff out of the corners, and there were no problems,” he said. “I think having a couple of more days will be beneficial. We'll go through some more stuff like we've been doing. I foresee it getting better.”

• Defenseman Mark Eaton has been a steady presence during his first two games with his old team. He has produced an even rating against Montreal and Tampa Bay while blocking four shots. Eaton said he immediately has felt comfortable in coach Dan Bylsma's system. Eaton has played primarily with defenseman Matt Niskanen but also has seen the occasional shift with his old defense partner, Kris Letang. “Obviously, there is a little rust and some things you can always work on,” Eaton said. “But all in all, I think I've been fairly solid.”

• The Penguins signed veteran NHL forward Tom Kostopoulos to a two-way contract Tuesday. He has been playing for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on a tryout contract. Kostopoulos was a Penguins' seventh-round draft pick in 1999. He played with the Penguins from 2001-'04. Kostopoulos has scored 60 career NHL goals.

• Feeling no ill effects following his first game back from a concussion, center Evgeni Malkin participated in the workout and was in a jovial mood throughout.

— Josh Yohe

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