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Penguins notebook: Scuderi could practice within a week

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 8:21 p.m.

BOSTON — Rob Scuderi is progressing toward getting a piece of the Penguins.

Scuderi's return to practice within seven days “is possible,” coach Dan Bylsma said Saturday.

Scuderi (broken ankle) did not play against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. He has missed 20 consecutive games.

Bylsma said he has not set a possible return-to-play date for Scuderi.

Injured in a loss at Toronto on Oct. 26, Scuderi had surgery two days later. Prognosis for his recovery was six to eight weeks.

The Penguins are without another top-four defenseman, Paul Martin (broken foot). He missed a sixth consecutive game.

Martin was injured in an overtime loss at Boston on Nov. 25. Prognosis for his recovery was four to six weeks.

Like clockwork

Winger Pascal Dupuis played in his 230th consecutive game Saturday.

He had not finished a home win over San Jose on Thursday night because of a lower-body injury.

“This is not the first time this has happened to him with this injury,” Bylsma said, though not providing specifics. “He knows this injury. He knows how it's going to respond.”

With Dupuis in the lineup, winger Harry Zolnierczyk did not dress. He was recalled from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday.

The other one

Rookie defenseman Olli Maatta said he does not “want to focus” on a looming decision by the Penguins on whether to loan him to Finland for the World Junior Championship.

Maatta, 19, is eligible to play in the tournament, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

If loaned to Finland, Maatta would not be on the Penguins' roster, and any games missed would not count to the maximum of 39 he can play before this counts as his first season toward arbitration eligibility and unrestricted free agency.

Bylsma said Saturday that playing in the World Junior at the expense of NHL games would not benefit Maatta, who has played in each of the Penguins' 31 games and spent much of the past month paired with top defenseman Kris Letang.

“I'm hoping for one later (next) year,” Bylsma said, referring to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Around the boards

The Penguins Pond, an outdoor public rink, will not return for this winter. It debuted outside Heinz Field for the 2011 Winter Classic and was moved to SouthSide Works in 2012. Highmark Stadium staged the rink last winter season. … Center Evgeni Malkin (lower body) missed a second consecutive game. Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (healthy) has not played in seven consecutive contests and just once in the last 13.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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