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Penguins notebook: Orpik, Glass targeting Friday return

| Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 2:06 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Brooks Orpik plays against the Sharks, Dec. 19, 2013 at Consol Energy Center.
USA Today Sports
Penguins center Sidney Crosby controls the puck in the first period against the Ottawa Senators on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

OTTAWA, Ontario — Coach Dan Bylsma might really like what he finds under the Christmas tree.

The Penguins, off for three days because of the NHL's Christmas break that starts Tuesday, could welcome back two regulars to their lineup for a game Friday at Carolina.

Defenseman Brooks Orpik (concussion) and winger Tanner Glass (hand) said they are targeting that game for their return.

Neither was available for the Penguins' game against Ottawa on Monday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

Orpik missed an eighth consecutive game, and Glass has sat out the past 15.

Orpik, who has passed a baseline cognitive test required for return-to-play status by the NHL, and Glass participated in the Penguins' game-day practice Monday morning.

Both players also worked with other injured players after that session, including defenseman Rob Scuderi, who has missed 28 consecutive games with a broken ankle.

Scuderi has not identified a specific date for his return. He said a week ago that team doctors believed he could play within eight to 10 days.

Scuderi has not experienced any setbacks, so that time frame would put him on track to return as soon as Friday.

Malkin out again

Center Evgeni Malkin also has not experienced any setbacks regarding his left-leg injury, Bylsma said Monday.

However, Malkin was unavailable for the Penguins against Ottawa because he did not accompany the club on its trip to Canada's capital city.

Bylsma said he is not sure if Malkin, who has missed five consecutive games, would be ready to play immediately after the Christmas break.

“It's not like we can know where he's at during the break,” Bylsma said. “So he'll be skating on (Friday).”

The NHL's labor contract with its players association does not allow for team activities during the Christmas break, so Malkin could skate only on his own before Friday morning at Carolina.

Malkin was injured in a win Dec. 14 at Detroit. He was tied for fourth among NHL scorers with 41 points before games played Monday.

Crosby No. 2

Sidney Crosby was second among all players with eight points last week, and that earned him the NHL's No. 2 star.

Crosby's production helped the Penguins go 4-0 in games played without seven regulars. He notched a winning goal at home against Toronto last Monday then posted multiple assists in the Penguins' next three games.

St. Louis' Chris Stewart (six goals) and Colorado's Matt Duchene (nine points) were the NHL's first and third stars, respectively, for last week. The overall scoring leader with 54 points, Crosby had a 10-game point streak before Monday night.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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