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Orpik Breaks Out

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
Brooks Orpik isn’t necessarily known for his offensive prowess, especially since he’s scored only 36 points in 300 career games heading into Tuesday night. In fact, he hadn’t scored a goal in his last 28 games.

“I don’t score very often,” Orpik said.

But it was Orpik who scored the Penguins’ first goal, on a power play no less. Oh, and it was Orpik who made the breakout pass that led to Pascal Dupuis’ game-winner in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

“(Orpik) played a great game,” Dupuis said. “He scored a big goal and made a nice play on the OT goal. He was a big piece of the puzzle.”

He’s on pace for a 20-goal and 40-point season. Can Orpik reach those numbers?

“No, not at all,” he joked. “Don’t get too carried away.”

The event marks the third time in Orpik’s career that he registered a two-point game. The previous two instances both occurred at New Jersey (Nov. 5, 2007 and April 5, 2006), and in both cases he recorded two assists.

Orpik’s first career power play goal gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead when he shelved a shot over the left shoulder of Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki at 14:12 of the second period.

“The goal, TK (Tyler Kennedy) had a really good screen on him,” Orpik said. “I don’t think he saw it because it wasn’t an overly hard shot. It just kind of found its way in there.”

Orpik played a complete game on both sides of the rink. Along with his game-leading two-point performance, the 6-foot-2, 219-pound defenseman also registered four hits and blocked three shots.

“He played a solid game again tonight,” head coach Michel Therrien said. “The last few games you could start to see the Brooks Orpik of last year, capable of bringing some offense. That’s a big bonus for us. He got a goal and an assist tonight. That’s good for him and for his confidence too, and good for the team.”

Orpik was most interested with the way the Penguins bounced back to win the game.

“This will get some confidence under our belts, especially a lot of the new guys,” Orpik said. “It could have easily gone the other way when we gave up those two goals at the end of the second period. I thought we rebounded and we found a way to win.”

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