The Penguins believe left wing Beau Bennett will play a big role in their future.
Starting Thursday, they will give him a chance to thrive in the present.
The precocious Bennett hardly has looked out of place in the NHL through eight games, and the Penguins have decided to play him on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal against the Flyers.
“That's the line he's going to play with,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “All three periods.”
Bylsma acknowledged situational strategies occasionally could dictate that another center or left wing Matt Cooke skate on that line, but Bennett is going to receive an extended look.
Such a scenario seemed unlikely Monday when Bennett was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. However, that move merely was procedural because a roster spot needed to be opened for Malkin's return.
When left wing Zach Boychuk was claimed off waivers by Nashville on Tuesday morning, Bennett was recalled, which was always the plan.
“It was a pretty crazy 24 hours,” Bennett said. “I'm just happy to be here.”
Bennett, who has recorded three points in his past four games, does not shy away from the opportunity of playing a top-six role. A skilled player who the Penguins selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Bennett said he is becoming more comfortable each game and would revel in the opportunity of playing with two of the Penguins' stars.
“I've skated with those guys a couple of times before,” Bennett said. “The more we practice, the more chemistry we'll build. Those guys are so good with the puck, I just try to find open space and get out of their way.”
Penguins’ Bylsma gives Bennett vote of confidence
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Mar 6