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Posted On Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 2:31 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - NHL Training Camps blog

Penguins' Malkin could play in opener

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin practiced Tuesday for the first time since the Stanley Cup Playoffs and said there's a "50/50" chance he could play in the season opener Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks. .

Malkin had not skated with the team due to an undisclosed injury sustained during his offseason workouts. With forward Chris Kunitz absent, Malkin skated on Sidney Crosby's left wing with Patric Hornqvist at right wing during line drills.

Kunitz was held out of practice due to an illness that Penguins coach Mike Johnston said he does not expect to linger. Forward Kasperi Kapanen, who also missed practice, returned to Finland to spend time with his family while the Penguins make a decision on their young players, Johnston said.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.04.2014 / 1:50 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - NHL Training Camps blog

Penguins' Malkin skates for first time at camp

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin returned to the ice Saturday for the first time since Pittsburgh announced his undisclosed injury.

Malkin, who has been sidelined throughout training camp, skated on his own prior to practice but did not join his teammates when they took the ice at Consol Energy Center. He worked out Thursday and Friday and "the steps are in motion" for him to participate in his first practice since the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Penguins coach Mike Johnston said.

Johnston said he hopes Malkin can work with a skills coach Sunday in addition to another skate.

"We're just taking it day by day and seeing how he progresses," Johnston said. "I know everybody, when we talked to everybody at the beginning of training camp, we weren't sure how long he may be out. And it did progress a little bit longer than we thought, but for sure it's exciting to get him working out the other day when we were heading up to the team building."

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Posted On Friday, 09.19.2014 / 1:08 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - NHL Training Camps blog

Penguins' Crosby skates at first camp workout

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby participated in the Pittsburgh Penguins' first practice Friday, a day after it was announced he would be held out of the start of training camp.

Crosby took the ice just before the start of Pittsburgh's 9 a.m. practice at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins captain, who did not wear a red no-contact jersey, skated for about 50 minutes before leaving practice as Pittsburgh began a 3-on-3 scrimmage between the blue lines.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford had announced Thursday that Crosby and center Evgeni Malkin would be held out of training camp practices due to unspecified injuries sustained during their offseason training. Coach Mike Johnston said neither injury was believed to be long-term. He said Crosby's issue was not related to the wrist injury that Crosby played through last season.

Crosby said the decision for him to practice was made Friday morning, and that he does not think the injury would have held him out of a regular-season game.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 12:32 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins bringing road mentality into Game 7

PITTSBURGH -- A Game 7 will be played at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are preparing as if they are on the road.

The Penguins are 1-7 in their past eight home elimination games entering Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Their record is nearly reversed in road elimination games, with six wins in their past seven.

Although Pittsburgh will play in front of a home crowd Tuesday, its pregame preparations have mirrored how it would treat a road trip. The Penguins stayed at a Pittsburgh-area hotel Monday night and traveled to the arena on a bus for their Tuesday morning skate.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen said the Penguins attempted to build camaraderie.

"We're all in this together, so let's hang out together before the biggest game of the season," Niskanen said. "Hopefully, we do bring that road mentality. Sometimes there's extra pressure to win at home or something. I don't think that's the case tonight.

"It's a Game 7. It is at home, so we should use that to our advantage. … I think everyone will pull together and try to play our best game for each other."

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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 5:45 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins put rest of series in past, focus on Game 7

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins would have rather avoided a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers. But after allowing a 3-1 series lead to evaporate, they want to embrace the moment.

Pittsburgh seemed to be playing its best hockey in several weeks after winning three straight games to take a 3-1 series lead. They regressed in the following two games, losing them by the combined score of 8-2, with the Rangers evening the series 3-3 entering Game 7 on Tuesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"I think a little bit, you can look at Games 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 as mirror opposites of each other," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "That was a team after Game 4 that was a little bit frustrated and a little bit disappointed with how they played and vowed to be better in Game 5 and were. … We can't live in Games 3 and 4. We certainly can't live in Games 5 and 6.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 1:46 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins' Scuderi remains confident despite criticism

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi has been criticized for his underwhelming performance during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Coach, Dan Bylsma said he thinks that perception is unfair.

Scuderi is a minus-3 through 11 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which ranks last among Pittsburgh defensemen. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has struggled since returning in December from a broken leg that sidelined him for two months.

That continued Friday, when Scuderi made a miscue that led to one of the New York Rangers' two power-play goals during Pittsburgh's 5-1 loss in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series.

Game 6 of the best-of-7 series, which Pittsburgh leads 3-2, is Sunday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Bylsma said Scuderi does not receive the credit he deserves because he is not a high-octane offensive performer.

"He's a fairly unassuming defenseman in how he plays," Bylsma said of Scuderi. "He's a guy who defends and is always thinking defense. The PK is a big part of that. We had some unforced errors and that was one of them. You don't get it cleared, it's in the back of the net a few seconds later.

"That's not the only mistake in the game. But I think Rob's played some of his best hockey for us in these playoffs."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 1:28 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins, up 3-1, want to keep foot on the pedal

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins hold a 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said they are not content.

After losing 3-2 in overtime in Game 1, Pittsburgh has won the next three games by the combined score of 9-2. The Penguins have shut out the Rangers twice and shut down New York’s power play, which has failed to score on its last 36 opportunities.

But despite controlling the momentum, Bylsma will not be satisfied until the Penguins earn a series-clinching win, which could come in Game 5 at Consol Energy Center on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"We had that mentality going into the last game," Bylsma said. "It was a situation where the Rangers had played, I think, a really good Game 3 and we were able to get a second wind. Last night was either, 2-2 or 3-1 and we didn't want to wait to see how that game would turn out and make it best-of-5.

"Now, we're almost in the same situation. We don't want to give them any life. We don't want to let them any opportunity and we have that ability coming back here at Consol with our fans, in our building, to get that fourth win."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 7:18 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Gibbons in Penguins lineup for Game 2

PITTSBURGH -- Forward Brian Gibbons will return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers.

Gibbons, who missed five games with an undisclosed injury, skated in place of forward Tanner Glass during the Penguins' pregame warmups. He did not skate on a line during Pittsburgh's morning skate.

Gibbons will play fourth-line right wing with forwards Marcel Goc and Craig Adams at Consol Energy Center on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).


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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 1:15 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins' Orpik unlikely for Game 2 vs. Rangers

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will have the same lineup, but expect to be a different team when they face the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

That means defenseman Brooks Orpik will most likely miss his fourth consecutive game with an undisclosed injury after taking part in the Penguins' optional practice on Saturday.

Pittsburgh did not make any line adjustments during its morning skate on Sunday. Orpik did not return to the ice after skating on his own about an hour before the skate and forward Brian Gibbons (undisclosed) did not work on a line.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Wes Crosby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Penguins' Orpik skates; status uncertain for Game 2

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik skated Saturday for the first time since sustaining an undisclosed injury, but his status remains unknown for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the New York Rangers.

Orpik participated in Pittsburgh's optional practice Saturday morning along with several Penguins. The group consisted mostly of players who aren't expected to play in Game 2 on Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Orpik has not officially rejoined the team and left the ice several minutes before any other player.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, who does not offer injury updates during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, did not discuss Orpik's injury.

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Quote of the Day

I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday