Penguins captain Sidney Crosby
and defenseman Brooks Orpik
, both of whom have missed some practices and preseason games with injuries, were back at practice Monday at CONSOL Energy Center, and both expect to be in the lineup when Pittsburgh opens the regular season Thursday against Philadelphia in the first official game in the new arena.
"I feel better; those couple of days (off) were good," said Crosby, who has been dealing with a hip injury. "I was glad to go through a full practice.
"I'm optimistic (of playing Thursday). Hopefully, I won't have to deal with it anymore."
"I felt better as the practice went on," said Orpik, who suffered a groin strain. "Thursday won't be a problem at all. It definitely needed a few days off to get back to this point. Hopefully, there are no more setbacks."
"We’ve managed their aches and pains and hoped that they would be able to get back on the ice," head coach Dan Bylsma said. "I haven’t talked to a trainer about how they did on the ice, but it looked like they were skating well."
Crosby and Orpik missed the Penguins' last two preseason game. Brooks Orpik (left) and Sidney Crosby (right)
The status of Arron Asham
, who suffered an upper-body injury at Chicago Oct. 1, is still not known for the opener against his former team, the Flyers.
"Arron is seeing our doctors in Pittsburgh (Monday), so he’s being re-evaluated on his status," Bylsma said. "We know he wants to play against Philly." Updated: 1:23 PM