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Penguins notebook: Orpik, Glass back; Malkin close

| Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, 6:12 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Penguins, ravaged by injuries during the past month, finally welcomed back a couple of players Friday.

Defenseman Brooks Orpik (concussion) and left wing Tanner Glass (broken hand) played against Carolina.

Orpik battled the flu during the team's three-day break for Christmas but was able to participate against the Hurricanes.

“I feel a little light,” said Orpik, referencing the stomach bug that hampered him for two days. “But I'm excited to be back in there.”

Glass joked that it was nice to have so much company in the trainer's room during the past month but turned serious when talking about his return to the lineup.

“I'm happy that the young guys played so well and made the most of their opportunities,” Glass said. “It's good to be back.”

• Center Evgeni Malkin participated during the morning skate Friday and remained on the ice for 30 additional minutes with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar. Malkin, who hasn't played since sustaining a lower-body injury Dec. 14 in Detroit, could return to game action Sunday in Columbus.

• Defenseman Kris Letang, out of the lineup since Dec. 13 because of an elbow infection, skated by himself Friday in Pittsburgh.

• Defenseman Olli Maatta played in his 40th game Friday. The total means he has participated in an accrued NHL season, per the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, making him eligible for free agency a year earlier than under ordinary circumstances.

• Defenseman Deryk Engelland returned to the lineup Friday after serving a five-game suspension.

• Left wing Zach Boychuk, who played in seven games with the Penguins last season, was recalled from Charlotte (AHL) and played for Carolina on Friday. It marked his second NHL game this season.

— Josh Yohe

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