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Penguins Report: Team Ready for Action

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins will be back in action on Thursday night when they host the Edmonton Oilers at Mellon Arena at 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh finished a stretch of four days without a game following its 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. The team used the time off to rest, recover and do some fine tuning.

“Anytime you have a lull in game action it gives you a chance to work on things,” defenseman Mark Eaton said. “It’s nice to get back home, get into a routine and get back in front of the Pittsburgh fans.”

It’s the second extended layoff of the season. The previous occasion occurred following Pittsburgh’s 10-day trip to Stockholm, Sweden, to open the season.

With a shortened training camp, the Penguins used that subsequent five-day break between games to implement their system.

“We’re constantly working on our system,” Eaton said. “It can always be improved. The better we can get at that, the better life will be for us.”

The current downtime followed another 10-day road trip that took the Penguins through New York, San Jose, Phoenix and St. Louis before returning home.

“It’s always nice to come home after a long road trip,” Ruslan Fedotenko said. “You see your family, get rejuvenated and go back to work. We have (a four)-day break in between (games). So we’re just trying to work on things to come up with some more wins.”

Pittsburgh didn’t have practice on Sunday and held a limited practice on Monday with off-ice conditioning. The Penguins were back to their normal practice routine on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for the game against Edmonton.

“All our practices have a purpose,” head coach Michel Therrien. “Guys are hungry to get on the ice. We wanted to make sure we got two good practices.”

“We got a couple days off and two good practices,” Sidney Crosby said. “We should be well rested for (Thursday).”

> Pittsburgh had its full compliment of players on the ice for practice on Wednesday. Ruslan Fedotenko, who hasn’t practiced since Saturday, returned to practice and donned a light-blue practice jersey. He is still listed as day-by-day and his status for Thursday’s showdown with Edmonton is unknown.

> The Penguins practiced in the team’s new third-uniform gear the last two days. The new items included dark blue helmets, gloves and pants - with a light-blue trim. Pittsburgh with wear the alternate-uniforms for the first time on Nov. 15 vs. Buffalo.

> Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik landed the top-rated spot on Hits of the Week, a video countdown seen on Orpik currently leads the NHL with 53 hits through 12 games. He’s on pace to register 362 checks on the season. (click here to see Orpik's hit)

> He said it: Therrien on defenseman Alex Goligoski:

“You have to (be) pleased with the play of Goligoski. He’s taking his first steps in the NHL. He’s getting better and better. The confidence is there. I’m really pleased about the way he’s playing.”

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