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Injured Asham close to returning to Pens' lineup

• Arron Asham, one of numerous players out with a concussion, is taking strides toward returning to the lineup. Out of action since sustaining a concussion Feb. 1 against the Rangers, Asham skated before practice, an encouraging sign that he could return at some point this month. Coach Dan Bylsma acknowledged that Asham has been symptom-free for six days. His return to the lineup, though, is not imminent. "He's got a ways to go conditioning-wise," Bylsma said.

• The Penguins hosted children from Make A Wish, The Children's Institute and the Children's Home of Pittsburgh Monday at practice. After watching practice at Consol Energy Center, the children and their families spent time with the Penguins, receiving autographs and getting pictures taken with the players.

• Defenseman Brooks Orpik is out at least another two weeks with a broken finger, though Bylsma acknowledged that pain tolerance isn't why he is sidelined. Bylsma said Orpik could be playing now, but that the threat of the finger becoming displaced is enough to keep him out.

• Penguins RW Eric Godard, who is eligible to return to the lineup tonight after serving a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench on Long Island, celebrated his 31st birthday in amusing fashion Monday. The Penguins sang "Happy Birthday" to Godard while he was in the middle of an interview and even slammed a pie in his face.

• The Penguins will extend a franchise record tonight by registering their 200th consecutive sellout.

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