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Penguins notebook: Scuderi has surgery on broken ankle

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 6:39 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi skates Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, during the first day of training camp at Consol Energy Center.

Defenseman Rob Scuderi had successful surgery Wednesday to repair his broken left ankle. The Penguins are uncertain when he will return to the lineup.

Scuderi was injured when he landed awkwardly on the ankle Saturday in Toronto.

With Scuderi out, the Penguins likely will use on defense the pairs of Kris Letang and Matt Niskanen, Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik, and Olli Maatta and Robert Bortuzzo. Defenseman Deryk Engelland figures to be used as a No. 7 defenseman and occasional forward on the fourth line.

Bortuzzo said he is eager to use the opportunity to further establish himself.

“It's an opportunity,” Bortuzzo said. “That's how I'm taking it. Olli and I are doing what we can each night to try and stay in the lineup.”

Bortuzzo and Maatta have played together the majority of games this season, and Bortuzzo said there is a chemistry between them.

“I believe in it,” Bortuzzo said. “You have to have the ability to adapt to other defensemen. But I believe that we do have continuity right now.”

Getting to know you

Right wing Matt D'Agostini has been placed on a line with center Evgeni Malkin and left wing Jussi Jokinen since returning from injured reserve Saturday in Toronto.

D'Agostini said he never has played with a player like Malkin, whose talent is exceeded only at times by his unpredictability.

For D'Agostini, making the simple plays is the key.

“He likes to have the puck, and he has it for long stretches of time,” D'Agostini said. “I think it's just a matter of getting to open areas when you're playing with him. Just go to the net, go to spots. He'll find you.”

D'Agostini said he is pleased with how he has played in his first two games and believes his conditioning is getting better every game.

“Shift by shift, I'm feeling better,” he said.

He missed the first 10 games because of a lower-body injury suffered during training camp.

Ray of sunshine

The Penguins' injury news isn't all negative.

Winger Beau Bennett, who has not played since Oct. 12 in Tampa Bay because of a lower-body injury, skated on his own before the morning skate Wednesday. He also skated the previous day.

Bylsma said Bennett's work was slightly more extensive than the previous day.

Happy return

Boston Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla was happy to return to Pittsburgh.

The Bruins team hotel, in fact, was the same one where he lived while playing with the Penguins last season.

“It was so nice to see some of the people that worked at the hotel,” Iginla said.

“You get to know people. It seems like it was just yesterday when I was here.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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