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Crosby likely out for exhibition finale

DETROIT — Arguably the NHL's deepest team when it comes to elite centers, the Penguins' 1-2-3 pivot punch at practice Saturday was Mark Letestu, Mike Comrie and Dustin Jeffrey.

Injuries to centers Sidney Crosby (short term, hip) and Jordan Staal (long term, foot) and the move of Evgeni Malkin to right wing should give the Penguins a different look for the preseason finale this afternoon at Joe Louis Arena against the Detroit Red Wings.

Crosby is not expected to play, though coach Dan Bylsma said his absence from the ice the last three days remains a "precautionary" move. Bylsma expects Crosby, who is on the trip, to play Thursday night against Philadelphia at Consol Energy Center in the regular-season opener.

More injuries

Defenseman Brooks Orpik (groin) and right wing Arron Asham (upper-body injury) also won't play against the Red Wings today. Orpik is not on this trip, which opened Friday with a loss at Chicago, and Asham was injured in that game after taking only two shifts.

Asham was re-evaluated today, but Bylsma said he is still reacting to treatment. He appeared to favor his left shoulder while walking the United Center hallways after the game at Chicago.

Bylsma said Orpik's injury is on the opposite side from his offseason surgery on the torso area.

"He wasn't going to play (this weekend), and we thought it would be better if he didn't come on the road," said Bylsma, adding that he expected Orpik to play Thursday night.

Around the boards

Left wing Chris Kunitz and Orpik have emerged as the front-runners to wear the "A" vacated by former alternate captain Sergei Gonchar. ... Forward Max Talbot and right wing Tyler Kennedy split time working on a third line with Jeffrey and left wing Matt Cooke.

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