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Penguins get into playoff spirit with Wiffle ball game on ice

James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Batter Robert Bortuzzo cracks a single off of pitcher Pascal Dupuis while catcher Sidney Crosby covers the plate during an intense wiffle ball game following the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Batter Robert Bortuzzo cracks a single off of pitcher Pascal Dupuis while catcher Sidney Crosby covers the plate during an intense wiffle ball game following the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pascal Dupuis heads out on the ice wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates batting helmet before the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Pascal Dupuis heads out on the ice wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates batting helmet before the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pascal Dupuis sports a Pittsburgh Pirates batting helmet before the start of the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Pascal Dupuis sports a Pittsburgh Pirates batting helmet before the start of the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Coach Dan Bylsma throws a puck around like a baseball while wearing a Roberto Clemente jersey and a goaler catching glove following the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Coach Dan Bylsma throws a puck around like a baseball while wearing a Roberto Clemente jersey and a goaler catching glove following the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Evgeni Malkin delivers the ball to the plate during an intense wiffle ball game following the Penguins' morning practice at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div> Evgeni Malkin delivers the ball to the plate during an intense wiffle ball game following the Penguins' morning practice at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Chris Kunitz gets high-fives at the plate after cracking a three-run homer during an intense wiffle ball game following the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Chris Kunitz gets high-fives at the plate after cracking a three-run homer during an intense wiffle ball game following the Pittsburgh Penguins morning practice at Consol Energy Center in Uptown Tuesday October 1, 2013.

Penguins/NHL Videos

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, 3:15 p.m.
 

The Penguins got into the spirit — and the swing — of things Tuesday.

Following a 70-minute workout at Consol Energy Center, the Penguins played a Wiffle ball game on the ice while wearing Pirates shirts.

Coach Dan Bylsma painted home plate, the bases and a batter's box onto the ice before the competition began.

“It was a good time,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “We'll be pulling for them tonight.”

The game lasted about 30 minutes and produced some humorous moments.

Defenseman Olli Maatta, who is from Finland, lost control of his bat while swinging at the first pitch he saw.

Maatta never played baseball.

“I'm sure you could tell,” he said.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was a catcher growing up in Nova Scotia and took his preferred spot behind the plate.

“No slides,” he said, when asked of the rules. “It was pretty tough playing on ice.”

Left wing Chris Kunitz showed off his two-sport ability, hitting a “home run” over the glass and making a diving catch on a line drive.

“Not bad work,” he said with a smile.

Many of the players planned to attend the Pirates' wild-card game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Crosby, who has participated in 82 career playoff games, was asked what advice he'd give the Pirates, many of whom have never played in the postseason.

“It's hard to treat it like a regular game because it's not,” Crosby said. “But I think you try to look at it that way. It's gotten them this far, so I think they'll be fine.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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