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Pens make roster moves; NHL upholds Thornton suspension

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 10:39 a.m.

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Penguins made a couple of roster moves in advance of the NHL's three-day Christmas break.

Winger Harry Zolnierczyk and defenseman Philip Samuelsson were re-assigned to AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after the Penguins' 5-0 loss at Ottawa on Monday night.

Forward Tanner Glass (hand) and defenseman Brooks Orpik (concussion) have targeted Friday for their return to the lineup.

Glass has missed 15 consecutive games; Orpik has not played in the last eight. The Penguins play at Carolina on Friday.

The club does not anticipate that winger Pascal Dupuis will be available for that contest. Dupuis' right leg buckled inward during a collision with captain Sidney Crosby in the first period at Ottawa.

A hip-check from Ottawa's Marc Methot upended Crosby into Dupuis, who fell to his knees and slid into the end-zone boards at Canadian Tire Centre. Dupuis pointed to his right knee when approached by a referee and required help by teammates to the training room.

The Penguins initial fears are for ligament damage, though Dupuis is scheduled for a medical re-evaluation in Pittsburgh.

Coach Dan Bylsma said he hoped Dupuis' injury was not “severe.”

Dupuis, who per club policy on injured players was not available for comment, has appeared in 238 consecutive games, most among active Penguins.

He last did not play Nov. 3, 2010, because of the birth of a child.

The Penguins (27-11-1, 55 points) arrived at the Christmas break on a 15-3-1 run during a five-week stretch that has forced no fewer than five AHL regulars into the lineup for every game because of injuries.

Suspension upheld

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld a 15-game suspension to Boston's Shawn Thornton for his attack on Orpik on Dec. 7. Thornton and the NHLPA have the option of appealing to a neutral discipline arbitrator, which did not exist under the old labor contract.

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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