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Pens' Laraque returns with physical presence

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Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007

Criticized during the Penguins' opening-round playoff loss to Ottawa for not providing a physical presence, right wing Georges Laraque was exactly that last night. Nearly six minutes into the game, Laraque engaged Canadiens defenseman Andrew Archer in a fight and promptly floored him with a series of punches that left Archer bloodied. Archer left the game with what the Canadiens termed a facial injury. He was taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

• Angelo Esposito, the Penguins' first-round pick (20th overall) in the 2007 entry draft, was a popular interview request following a morning practice session. Esposito is a Montreal native, and the Canadiens have absorbed some criticism for not taking him with the 12th overall pick in the draft.

"It worked out really well for me," Esposito said of falling to the Penguins. "I'm with a great organization."

Esposito said he was somewhat taken aback upon hitting the ice in the Bell Center for a morning practice.

"I just looked around and took it (in)," Esposito said. "I have always wanted to play here ... but I did not know who I was going to play for. Now, here I am with the Penguins. It is a good fit."

• Center Keven Veilleux, the Penguins' second-round pick (51st overall) in the 2007 entry draft, attended the exhibition game. Veilleux, a Quebec native, lives not far from Montreal. He has not participated in camp while recovering from sports hernia surgery.

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