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Bylsma provides possible clue about Crosby's status

• While addressing the subject of injured defenseman Brooks Orpik's impending return, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma provided a potential clue on the status of center Sidney Crosby. "When Brooks is ready to play and when Sidney Crosby is ready to play, we're going to insert them both (into the lineup)," Bylsma said Friday after practice at Consol Energy Center. Orpik practiced with teammates yesterday morning; before the team session, Crosby, who is recovering from a concussion, participated in another on-ice workout. He has not experienced any setbacks since returning to the ice March 14 but has missed the past 34 games.

• The target for Orpik's return from a broken right finger is next week. He has participated in three days of practice with teammates and said his main objective is to regain his timing, especially with stickhandling. He has missed 13 consecutive games, and the Penguins had allowed 34 goals in the previous 12 entering last night's matchup with New Jersey — an average of 2.83 compared to 2.38 for the season.

• Forward Mike Comrie played for the first time since Nov. 24. He had missed 51 straight games while recovering from hip surgery. A spot in the lineup opened after center Dustin Jeffrey suffered a lower-body injury and did not return to Thursday's game in Philadelphia after Flyers center Jeff Carter fell into his right leg. The Penguins did not provide an update on Jeffrey, but Bylsma said he was being examined by team doctors. Comrie played wing against the Devils.

• Backup goalie Brent Johnson (upper-body injury) remains day-to-day and was not available for a second straight game. Marc-Andre Fleury started even though this game was the Penguins' second in as many nights and they play again Sunday afternoon. The other option was Brad Thiessen, who has never played in the NHL. Fleury has appeared in 37 of the past 42 games but only seven of the past 10.

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