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Penguins notebook: Beau Bennett returns to practice

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Sunday, March 9, 2014, 9:33 p.m.

Beau Bennett returned to practice for the Penguins on Sunday night, joining a session at Verizon Center. He skated on an extra line with wingers Brian Gibbons and Chris Conner. Bennett, out since Nov. 22 with a right-hand injury that required surgery, said he could play within 10 days, but coach Dan Bylsma said there will be no timeframe for his return until a re-evaluation by a team physician Sunday. Bennett is cleared for light contact. Bylsma also suggested he had no expectation for where Bennett will play upon his return. He was the top-line right winger at the time of his injury. He has scored one goal in 12 games.

• Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo also practiced. Bortuzzo had not taken the ice since Thursday, when he did not finish a loss at San Jose. Bortuzzo had an upper-body injury. Gibbons also missed the Penguins' shootout win at Anaheim on Saturday night. He was out with a lower-body injury.

• Conner, who resumed practicing last week, has not played since Dec. 31. He had surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand and was originally set to miss eight to 10 weeks.

• The Penguins spent an off-day Saturday in Anaheim and flew to Washington on Sunday. Their evening practice was designed to recalibrate their bodies to Eastern Time. “It was really weird,” left winger Tanner Glass said. “It was a really long flight, and then it was still daylight when we got here.” The practice ended about 8:30 p.m., but Glass said, “It (felt) like it was about midnight.”

• Goalie Tomas Vokoun did not practice. Vokoun has yet to play this season because of a blood clot but resumed practicing regularly in mid-February. Vokoun has said he expects to return for some games, but management has not committed to that possibility.

— Rob Rossi

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