Penguins notebook: Injured defenseman Martin finally skates
By Rob Rossi
Published: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, 8:21 p.m.
Paul Martin plans to keep his promise.
After vowing to Team USA management earlier this week that he would be healthy for the Winter Olympics next month, Martin started skating Saturday with injured Penguins players.
He had not skated since Nov. 25 when his tibia was broken in the third period of an overtime loss at Boston.
“He's seen the doctor and passed the necessary bone scan,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Saturday.
The Penguins have played with no more than two top-four defensemen since Martin was injured. There is no time frame for Martin's return.
Help on the way?
A win over Winnipeg on Sunday would pull Bylsma even with Eddie Johnston for the most regular-season victories (232) in franchise history.
Kris Letang may lend a helping hand.
Letang, the team's top defenseman, has missed 10 consecutive games because of an infected left elbow. He told Bylsma he was ready to return after participating in a full practice Saturday, and he was paired with Rob Scuderi. Scuderi was signed as a free agent in the offseason to play with Letang.
Center Evgeni Malkin (left leg) has missed the past nine games, but Bylsma did not rule him out to play against Winnipeg.
“We will see and evaluate where they're at before the game,” Bylsma said.
Winger Chris Conner had surgery on a broken hand, and his recovery time remains six to eight weeks, Bylsma said.
Winger Chuck Kobasew is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. The injury prevented him from playing in a home win over the New York Rangers on Friday night, Bylsma said.
Winger Jayson Megna (lower-body) took the ice for the first time since he was injured Dec. 16 in a home win over Toronto. Goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) remains on blood thinners. He has yet to play this season.
Blast from past
Penguins all-time scorer and majority co-owner Mario Lemieux received a standing ovation from fans that filled half of the lower bowl Saturday at Consol Energy Center.
He joined a group of friends and former teammates — including Penguins Stanley Cup stars Mark Recchi, Rick Tocchet and Bill Guerin — to play in two charity games. The public games were part of a fantasy hockey camp staged by Lemieux's foundation, which benefits cancer research.
About 5,000 tickets were sold.
Lemieux did not make himself available for comment. He scored one goal.
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