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Penguins winger Kennedy dealing with injury

SUNRISE, Fla. — Though he has skated the past three days, Penguins winger Tyler Kennedy is unlikely to play Wednesday night in the club's return to Mellon Arena after a three-game road trip.

"He was battling out there to test it hard," coach Dan Bylsma said of Kennedy, who did not play Monday at Florida — his ninth straight missed game because of an undisclosed lower body injury.

Bylsma said Kennedy playing tomorrow against Montreal was "not in (his) future."

· Defenseman Brooks Orpik admitted he is "a long way from 100 percent" before playing a second straight game after missing four in a row with a left leg injury. He was hurt Nov. 10 at Boston while trying to avoid falling after being checked.

"A lot of people thought it was my hip, my ribs or shoulder," Orpik said of his left leg injury. "If I had gone down I probably wouldn't have got hurt. That's what happened — my skate got caught."

· For a second straight year, center Sidney Crosby is sponsoring the supply of hockey equipment to area youth players aged 4-7. The Little Penguins' "Learn to Play Hockey" initiative will take place at 21 regional rinks, and registration begins Dec. 1 at the Penguins' official Web site. Youth players will receive free equipment provided by Reebok and Dick's Sporting Goods. The equipment will be Crosby's endorsed Reebok line, SC87.

· The Florida Panthers unveiled an alternate uniform last night. The color scheme mirrored the Penguins' original colors: baby blue, dark blue and white. Those colors are part of the Penguins' popular current throwback-themed alternate uniforms, which will be replaced next season.

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