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Penguins captain Crosby ups intensity level

Penguins center Sidney Crosby, still not cleared for contact, participated in a 48-minute practice Friday morning at Southpointe and ramped it up for at least two drills.

On a five-on-five drill that simulates play in one zone, he initially stayed to the perimeter, then became more involved. On an intense, one-on-one drill in which a forward tries to beat a defenseman off the boards, Crosby took some contact but kept going.

He has yet to miss a session in training camp.

» The Penguins reduced their roster to 39 by assigning three forwards — Bryan Lerg, Zach Sill and Keven Veilleux — to their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton AHL affiliate.

» Defenseman Kris Letang missed practice with a migraine, coach Dan Bylsma said. Letang has a history of such headaches. Defenseman Brooks Orpik, recovering from abdominal surgery, stayed off the ice for a maintenance day.

» Tyler Kennedy has been one of the better forwards in camp, but it's unclear whether he will play on the top two lines.

"I don't think he's worried whether he's top-six or not," Bylsma said. "He sure looks like a real effective winger out there, whether he's next to Jordan Staal, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. He's playing with a lot of confidence."

» Forward Arron Asham crashed hard into the boards during a drill and was slow to get up but completed the session.

» The Penguins distributed 18,000 free tickets to local youth hockey organizations for today's preseason game against Minnesota. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. for the 3:08 faceoff at Consol Energy Center.

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