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Lightning defenseman still talking Crosby hit

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman's hit from behind against Penguins center Sidney Crosby on Jan. 5 was hardly menacing, but it has been historical.

More than 10 months following the hit, Crosby remains out of the lineup while recovering from a concussion. Hedman, meanwhile, continues to field daily questions about the hit.

"When I went back home to Sweden, everyone was asking about the hit and wanted to talk about it," Hedman said. "It was tough for me to explain."

Hedman, as he did during the Stanley Cup playoffs in April, expressed that the hit was accidental and that he looks forward to seeing Crosby return.

"Everyone wants to see Sid back on the ice," Hedman said. "Me included. It was tough. I hope he recovers fast. Hockey needs him."

Crosby took part in the morning skate but did not speak with reporters.

> > Defenseman Zbynek Michalek, out since breaking a finger Oct. 22, practiced with the Penguins for the first time since the injury during Thursday's morning skate. Michalek remains at least a week away from seeing game action.

> > Former Penguins left wing Ryan Malone did not play Thursday night because of an upper-body injury. Malone has been out of the lineup since Nov. 6. Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said Malone wanted to play and that he should be back in the lineup in "two or three days."

> > The Penguins' outdoor community rink, named "Penguins Pond at South Side Works," will open for public skating at 5 p.m. Friday. It is located at the intersection of 26th and Sidney Streets in the South Side Works complex. The rink will operate daily through Jan. 8, and opening ceremonies, which will feature Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier, will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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