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Rossi: Bennett closer to practicing, but not so much for Neal.


Greetings to the Dear Readers from Columbus, Ohio ­ – though, it seems quite a few of you are here for the Penguins’ first divisional game at Nationwide Arena.

Neither club engaged in an AM practice, so there is little to report. Some bit of information:


= Jeff Zatkoff will make his third start for the Penguins. He is 0-2 with a 5.06 GAA and .818 save percentage. Coach Dan Bylsma said there was very little thought given to playing Marc-Andre Fleury on back-to-back days.

Given how well Fleury had to play for a win on Friday night at Consol Energy Center – see Josh Yohe’s game story: ­­– this game could prove quite challenging for Zatkoff, unless the Penguins revert back to their previously sound defensive form.


= Bylsma said the rest of the lineup is a “game-time decision.” That includes LW Tanner Glass, who appeared to sustain an injury in the win on Friday night.


= RW Beau Bennett (lower body) skated on his own again Saturday morning. Bylsma said he expected Bennett to practice next week, though he did not provide specifics. The Penguins are off Sunday and do not play again until at New York (Rangers) on Wednesday. Bennett last played Oct. 12.


= RW James Neal (upper body) remains week-to-week, but Bylsma said Neal is “rehabbing, recovering, (and) working out.” Bylsma added he hoped to “see progression” in terms of Neal’s activity. Neal has not played since Oct. 3.




Be Excellent to each other,





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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