Coach Dan Bylsma might really like what he finds under the Christmas tree. The Penguins – off for three days because of the NHL's Christmas break that starts Tuesday – could welcome back two regulars to their lineup for a game at Carolina on Friday night. Defenseman Brooks Orpik (concussion) and winger Tanner Glass (hand) said they are targeting that game for their return. Neither was available for the Penguins' game against Ottawa at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday night. Orpik had missed seven consecutive games, and Glass was out 14 in a row. Orpik, who has passed a baseline cognitive test required for return-to-play status by the NHL, and Glass each participated in the Penguins' game-day practice on Monday morning. Both players also worked with other injured players after that session, including defenseman Rob Scuderi, who had missed 27 consecutive games with a broken ankle. Scuderi has not identified a specific date for his return. He said last Monday that team doctors believed he could play within 8-10 days. Scuderi has not experienced any setbacks, so that time frame would put him on track to return as soon as Friday night. Malkin out again Center Evgeni Malkin also has not experienced any setbacks regarding his left-leg injury, Bylsma said Monday. However, Malkin was unavailable for the Penguins against Ottawa because he did not accompany the club on its trip to Canada's capital city. Bylsma is not sure if Malkin, who had missed four consecutive games, would be ready to play immediately after the Christmas break. “It's not like we can know where he's at during the break,” Bylsma said. “So, he'll be skating on (Friday).” The NHL's labor contract with its Players Association does not allow for team activities during the Christmas break, so Malkin could only skate on his own before Friday morning at Carolina. Malkin was injured in a win at Detroit on Dec. 14. He was tied for fourth among NHL scorers with 41 points before games played Monday.
Orpik, Glass targeting Friday return
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Dec 23