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Penguins notebook: Road trip chance for renewed bonding

| Monday, March 3, 2014, 5:12 p.m.

• Even though the team came home between trips to Chicago and Nashville, the Penguins are embarking on their second of five consecutive games on the road — their longest “road trip” in almost exactly three years. Considering they've lost three consecutive and have dealt with peculiarities such as the Olympic break and an outdoor game, some players are embracing the trip as a bonding opportunity. “For us, it's a chance maybe to just focus on hockey,” defenseman Rob Scuderi said.

• The Penguins departed Southpointe almost exactly 50 hours before the 3 p.m. Wednesday NHL trade deadline. “It's always a tough time of year for guys,” said center Brandon Sutter, whom reportedly is the subject of trade talks. “I think (the trade deadline) is secretly in the back of everyone's head, but we know we've got a good group here, and we know what our goal is, and everyone's on the same page. It'll be nice to get that day over with so we can worry about the stretch run.”

• A talking point for many Penguins players was a need to reacquire the passion and desperation that has been missing in recent weeks. With a division lead of 14 points that has been even greater at times, some players are blaming resulting complacency for the recent mediocre stretch of play. “We need to find a way to make sure we have that (desperation) within the room.” captain Sidney Crosby said.

Chuck Kobasew skated as a wing on the fourth line during practice Monday. Not long after it ended, word broke that the 31-year-old had been placed on waivers. He has 24 hours to clear.

— Chris Adamski

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