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Pens Roundup: Orpik Back at Practice

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 12:07 PM / Features
By Sam Kasan
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Pens Roundup: Orpik Back at Practice
Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik returns to practice.

Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik skated with his teammates in practice Friday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center for the first time since suffering a concussion.

Complete details on Orpik can be found here.

Rob Scuderi (ankle) and Tanner Glass (hand) were also with the team at practice. Evgeni Malkin (lower-body) skated on his own for the third time with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar prior to practice.

“Tanner is progressing back to play a little quicker than Rob, maybe a game or two different, both progressing back to playing,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “They haven’t had a lot of practice time with the team. … I don’t have a definitive answer if we’ll get either of them back before the (Christmas) break.

“(Malkin) will not be available for (Saturday’s) game. He continues to skate and progress, but we’ll see on him going forward.”

Scuderi has his conditioning up as high as possible without being in game action. And right now it’s just a matter of getting an OK from the doctors for the next step.

“I feel good, it’s just waiting for the doctors to give me clearance for contact,” Scuderi said. “At least at that point I can get a few practices where I’m bumping into guys and feeling the game a little bit more. Then play whenever the coaches make that decision.”

Glass has been medically cleared to play and he didn’t rule out Saturday, but said he would like to have more strength in his hand before returning to the lineup.

“I have the OK medically, it’s just if I’m comfortable with a stick in my hand,” Glass said. “If it feels weak or isn’t stable in my hand I don’t want to put myself or the team in a situation that could hurt the team.

“It’s just a strength issue. I don’t feel quite yet it’s strong in my hand, especially when you go to one hand. You think of situations like penalty killing and checking is a one-handed thing, your top hand. It’s coming along. I won’t rule out tomorrow, but we’ll see tomorrow.”

Plus, there is another factor weighing in Glass’ decision.

“We’re so good right now. I don’t want to jinx anything or screw anything up,” he joked.

The Pens used the following workflow at practice…

Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
Zolnierczyk-Jokinen-Neal
Conner-Sutter-Vitale
Adams-Sill-Kobasew
Gibbons-(Sutter)-Glass

Niskanen-Maatta
Despres-Samuelsson
Bortuzzo-Dumoulin
Scuderi-Engelland
(Orpik)

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