Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Zolnierczyk Gets the Call to Fill Injured Bennett's Spot in Lineup

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Zolnierczyk Gets the Call to Fill Injured Bennett's Spot in Lineup

Article excerpt

Harry Zolnierczyk was chilling on his couch Monday, a welcome day off, when he got something more welcome -- a call saying the Penguins were summoning him from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

"Great phone call," said the winger, who was in the lineup Tuesday against Edmonton at Consol Energy Center because Beau Bennett was out due to an unspecified injury.

Zolnierczyk, 26, was signed as a free agent in the offseason and was one of the final cuts at training camp.

He had three goals in as many games for Wilkes-Barre, but that wasn't the only thing that earned him the first call-up this season.

"We saw in training camp a little bit of what he brings -- the speed with which he plays, getting to the net, forechecking," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

Bylsma indicated he wanted to keep the fourth line of Tanner Glass, Joe Vitale and Craig Adams intact.

Zolnierczyk, who played right wing on the third line Tuesday night with center Brandon Sutter and Dustin Jeffrey, also has a physical element to his game.

"If the opportunity is there to get on the body and finish some checks,

"It will be something to get on, and the opportunity to score goals will be the same," Zolnierczyk said.

Chuck Kobasew moved from the third line up to Bennett's spot alongside Evgeni Malkin on the second line.

Bennett did not participate in the morning skate.

He is considered day-to-day. Zolnierczyk could remain on the NHL roster if Bennett misses more games.

To make room for Zolnierczyk on the roster, the Penguins placed right winger James Neal on long-term injured reserve, retroactive to the regular-season opener. Neal left that game in the first period because of an undisclosed injury and has been listed as week-to- week.

Under long-term IR rules, Neal can't return before an Oct. 28 home game against Carolina.

He has not returned to practice. …

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