Penguins notebook: Orpik, Neal return
Orpik, Neal return
Veteran leader Brooks Orpik, a defenseman, and right winger James Neal, played for the Penguins in Game 4 of a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday.
Orpik (lower-body) had missed five straight games dating to the regular season, and he said before Game 4 that his attempt to practice last week was a mistake. Orpik was paired with regular defense partner Paul Martin in Game 4.
Neal (right ankle) was injured on a hit by Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic in Game 1, and had not played since. Neal opened on a line with regular center Evgeni Malkin. Jarome Iginla played the left wing.
Rookie winger Beau Bennett was a healthy scratch for Game 4. He has played in Games 1-3, opening the series with a goal. Bennett had only that goal, but was a plus-2 and had averaged over 10 minutes in each game.
Right winger Tyler Kennedy, a regular on the 2008 and 2009 Cup Final Penguins, was a healthy scratch for a fourth straight playoff game.
Center Brandon Sutter began Game 4 working on the fourth line, where he spent the latter part of Game 3 on Sunday. Sutter, the key piece acquired in a trade of Jordan Staal last June, had anchored the third line during the regular season when Malkin and center Sidney Crosby were healthy.
Sutter had recorded only three shots while failing to score in Games 1-3.
Jussi Jokinen, acquired at the trade deadline, centered the third line with left winger Brenden Morrow and Matt Cooke on the right wing.
Crosby will appear on regional covers of Sports Illustrated this week. The headline on the cover reads Crosby is the NHL's “most amazing player.” He also appeared on the cover of the magazine after Canada's 2010 Olympics victory and following the Penguins' 2009 Cup win.
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