Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bennett Battles through Illness

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bennett Battles through Illness

Article excerpt

Winger Beau Bennett made a splash Friday after a 50-game absence, scoring the winning goal as the Penguins beat Columbus, 2-1.

He followed up Sunday with an assist and not quite as much fanfare in a 4-1 win against Chicago.

"Beau was very good in the Columbus game. I don't think he was as strong [against Chicago] in his game," coach Dan Bylsma said.

Turns out there was a reason, and it didn't involve his surgically repaired wrist.

Bennett came down with a respiratory ailment that he blamed on traveling while on a conditioning assignment to the American Hockey League. He hadn't had to travel much this season; injuries have limited him to 14 games.

"Usually, I get sick, badly sick, about twice a year just because I'm not really good with the cold weather," the southern California native said after practice Monday. "This year, I managed to escape it, and now the end of winter [it hits].

"I caught it early enough that I got on top of it. I usually let it fester because I just want to wait and see if I get better, and I never do. I've been a lot healthier diet-wise, and I think that's helped me out, too.

"[Sunday] night, I didn't feel my best, but I also was able to keep my energy up, drink a lot of water."

As for the state of his game, Bennett is looking at a crash course.

"I feel pretty good," he said. "There are only seven games left [in the regular season]. I just want to keep getting better. I know I only played two games. You can't make too big of a deal out of that. If I can string together these last seven, play well and help the team out, I'll be really happy."

No punishment for Orpik

Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik did not have a hearing or face supplemental discipline for a hit Sunday that knocked Chicago captain Jonathan Toews out of the game.

Orpik has been reluctant to talk about the hit, which was not penalized, but he was not reluctant to address some of the internal discussions the team had lately. …

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