Tuesday Practice Report
In the midst of a three game winning streak, the Pittsburgh Penguins are inching closer to full health and two regulars are getting close to returning to the lineup.
Defenseman Brooks Orpik (groin) who has missed the last 5 games participated fully in today’s practice. Barring a setback, Orpik is expected to return to the lineup this weekend against the St. Louis Blues. Orpik has also not been ruled out for Thursday’s game and will travel with the team on the road.
Another player getting very close to getting back into the lineup is winger Arron Asham.
Asham participated in his 1st full practice with the team in several weeks. He has been cleared for contact and skated on the 5th line with Jordan Staal (foot) and Eric Godard.
Asham is regarded as being about a week away and look from him to return next week against the Tampa Bay Lightning or Philadelphia Flyers.
The big news of the day though was Jordan Staal practicing with his teammates. He is still believed to be several weeks away but today was another big step for Staal who is working relentlessly on his foot strength.
The Penguins will have one more practice on Wednesday before the team departs for Nashville. Today’s lines were another indication of what to expect Thursday night.
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Comrie – Letestu – Malkin
Cooke – Talbot – Kennedy
Tangradi – Adams – Rupp
Asham – Staal – Godard
Eric Tangradi remained on the 4th line after getting dropped to the 4th line in Monday’s game. The Penguins appear committed to going with a 2nd line of Mike Comrie – Mark Letestu and Evgeni Malkin for Thursday’s game.
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