Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Orpik's Status for Game Today Not Clear

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Orpik's Status for Game Today Not Clear

Article excerpt

The Penguins might have to do some late lineup shuffling for their game today against Tampa Bay at Consol Energy Center.

After practice Friday, defenseman Brooks Orpik sounded a little less optimistic about playing the weekend than he had Thursday.

Orpik practiced the past two days after missing the game Tuesday night against the New York Rangers because of an undisclosed injury.

"Hopefully, I'll wake up [today] and at least feel good enough to take warm-ups and see how it goes," Orpik said.

Coach Dan Bylsma again described Orpik's status as "day to day."

Also in question is the status of backup goaltender Brent Johnson. He missed the Tuesday game because of illness, then missed practice Friday because he "tweaked something" Thursday in practice, Bylsma said.

Goaltender Brad Thiessen, summoned on an emergency basis to dress Tuesday as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup, was recalled again Friday afternoon and likely will fill that role for the second game in a row.

Johnson most likely was a candidate to start the Sunday afternoon home game against Columbus, but now that situation is unclear.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen, who missed practice Thursday because of illness, returned Friday.

"I hope I'm ready to go," Niskanen said.

"Nothing's official yet, but I feel a lot better than I did the last couple of days."


Bylsma was cornered by a guy in a coffee shop a couple of days ago and got the guy's take on the kind of impact move he thought the Penguins should make before the 3 p.m. Monday trade deadline.

The guy coveted Columbus winger Rick Nash, easily the biggest name on the trading block but also a big-ticket player with a salary- cap hit of $7.8 million per season through 2017-18.

Bylsma acknowledged that acquiring Nash wouldn't work for cap reasons, but he has his own dream move -- one that Penguins fans no doubt would all agree on and have clamored for.

"The best situation, best trade [general manager] Ray Shero could make is for Sidney Crosby," Bylsma said. …

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