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Penguins facing lineup adjustments against Jackets

by Wes Crosby

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be forced to further adjust their lineup when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Consol Energy Center on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Brooks Orpik was placed on injured reserve Monday with a concussion sustained against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, while James Neal has been suspended for five games following a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Monday Orpik is "doing quite well."

Orpik was injured in the first period Saturday during an altercation with Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, who faces an in-person disciplinary hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety. The date for the hearing has yet to be determined.

"We saw him leave the ice [on a stretcher] so it was pretty scary in that regard," Bylsma said. "He’s up and moving around just fine. I don't have [knowlege of] any type of other symptoms that he’s having at this time."

The Penguins, who already are without defensemen Paul Martin (leg) and Rob Scuderi (ankle), recalled defenseman Brian Dumoulin from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will play for the second time in 14 games but he won't be expected to replace Orpik's performance.

"We're not going to try to replace him," Bylsma said. "It's not something where you say 'You have to go be Brooks Orpik,' or, 'You have to be Paul Martin.' That's just something that you can't do.

"Robert Bortuzzo is a capable guy and he's going to go in and be Robert Bortuzzo."

Kris Letang will skate with Olli Maatta in a familiar pairing while Deryk Engelland will join Matt Niskanen. Bortuzzo will be paired with Dumoulin or Simon Despres.

Jayson Megna will replace Neal at right wing next to Jussi Jokinen and Evgeni Malkin, who is expected to return from a lower-body injury that forced him to miss Pittsburgh's past two games. Bylsma would not confirm Malkin's return to the lineup, saying after the morning skate that the entire lineup would be a game-time decision.

Here are the expected lineups for the Penguins and Blue Jackets:


Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis

Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - Jayson Megna

Chris Conner - Brandon Sutter - Joe Vitale

Craig Adams - Zach Sill - Chuck Kobasew

Olli Maatta - Kris Letang

Deryk Engelland - Matt Niskanen

Simon Despres - Robert Bortuzzo

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Brian Dumoulin

Suspended: James Neal

Injured: Brooks Orpik (concussion), Andrew Ebbett (ankle), Beau Bennett (wrist), Tanner Glass (hand), Paul Martin (leg), Rob Scuderi (ankle), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)


Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - R.J. Umberger

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson

Boone Jenner - Artem Anisimov - Blake Comeau

Mark Letestu - Derek MacKenzie - Corey Tropp

Jack Johnson - Fedor Tyutin

Ryan Murray - David Savard

Dalton Prout - Nikita Nikitin

Curtis McElhinney

Mike McKenna

Scratched: Jack Skille, Tim Erixon

Injured: Marian Gaborik (knee), Nathan Horton (shoulder), Jared Boll (foot), James Wisniewski (upper body), Sergei Bobrovsky (groin)

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