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Orpik likely to play tonight

• Defenseman Brooks Orpik likely will make his return to the lineup tonight against the New York Islanders. He has missed the past four games after sustaining an injury Jan. 9 against Toronto. For the second time, choppy ice forced Orpik to miss time with an injury. He injured his knee in Boston earlier this season because of what he described as bad ice and didn't have a positive report of the Air Canada Center's surface. "There aren't too many places that have good ice anymore," Orpik said. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma put Orpik through a grueling practice in Vancouver, and the defenseman skated hard Monday at Mellon Arena.

• In another sign that Orpik will play, the Penguins sent defenseman Ben Lovejoy and left wing Luca Caputi back to Wilkes-Barre. Caputi made a splash with a goal in his first game with the Penguins this season but was a healthy scratch in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

• Two goaltenders -- Brent Johnson and John Curry -- practiced yesterday at Mellon Arena. Starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury skated before the practice but did not participate in any drills with teammates and won't dress tonight.

• RW Tyler Kennedy ended a slump by scoring goals in Edmonton and Calgary. He admitted that, thanks to those goals, he's no longer "gripping the stick quite as tight."

• The Penguins play eight of their next 10 games at home.

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