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Penguins notebook: No surgery date set for Dupuis

| Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
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The Penguins' Pascal Dupuis is helped off the ice by teammates Matt Niskanen (left) and Chris Kunitz after injuring his knee against the Senators on Dec. 23, 2013, in Ottawa, Ontario. Dupuis suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season.
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Pascal Dupuis headshot

Pascal Dupuis still needs surgery to repair a torn right ACL.

However, no date is set for that procedure, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday.

“There still needs to be healing in one aspect of his knee before we move to surgery,” Bylsma said.

Dupuis was injured in a loss Dec. 23 at Ottawa on an unintentional collision with captain Sidney Crosby. Four days later, the Penguins reported Dupuis was out indefinitely and that surgery would take place within two weeks.

Dupuis cannot move laterally on his right leg because of the injury. The Penguins do not expect him to play again until next season.

Without Dupuis and Beau Bennett, out until after the Olympic break because of a broken wrist, the Penguins are without a preferred option for the right wing on the top line that includes Crosby and left winger Chris Kunitz.

The trade deadline is March 5, but rosters are frozen during the three-week Olympic break from Feb. 7-23.

Neal possible for Wednesday

Right winger James Neal missed practice for a second consecutive day Tuesday, but he is not ruled out to play against Washington on Wednesday night, Bylsma said.

Neal is dealing with an upper-body injury, though Bylsma said it is not a reaggravation of an oblique strain that forced him out of the lineup for 15 games at the beginning of the season.

Neal was injured in an overtime loss Friday at Edmonton, though he played in a win at Calgary the next evening.

Line shuffle

The Penguins have practiced with fewer players than they did Tuesday but not before with stranger line combinations.

Brandon Sutter, a fixture as the third-line center, worked as the top-line right winger. The right winger on the second line was Taylor Pyatt, who is less than two weeks from being claimed off waivers.

Wingers Craig Adams and Tanner Glass — fourth-line staples when the Penguins are healthy — moved up to practice on a third line centered by Nick Drazenovic. He was recalled from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier in the day.

All of that looked normal compared to a fourth line that consisted of Zach Sill flanked on the wings by natural defensemen Simon Despres and Deryk Engelland.

Around the boards

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will not face supplemental discipline from NHL Player Safety for his match penalty at Calgary on Saturday, Bylsma said. … Forward Brian Gibbons (upper body) is on injured reserve retroactive to Saturday.

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

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