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Whitney progressing in practice

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By The The Tribune-Review
Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008

D Ryan Whitney wrapped his first full week of practice, but said his status "doesn't change on a day-to-day basis."

"It's kind of week-to-week," said Whitney, who has yet to play this season. He underwent corrective surgery on his left foot in August. "Once you get a day off, usually it feels better the next day."

Whitney returned to practice Nov. 21, but is not yet participating in full-contact drills. That should come fairly soon, though.

"Hopefully, at the end of the road trip this week, I'll be doing everything in practice," Whitney said.

* D Philippe Boucher, injured Friday at Buffalo, did not play Saturday against New Jersey at Mellon Arena. Boucher is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Replacing him in the lineup was D Mark Eaton, who had been a healthy scratch in five consecutive games and eight of the Penguins' past 11 contests. Eaton was paired with Alex Goligoski last night.

* RW Pascal Dupuis was scratched against the Devils. He was replaced in the lineup by LW Ruslan Fedotenko, who was a healthy scratch Friday night in the Penguins' 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. The Penguins made room for LW Janne Pesonen, who was called up from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday before playing in the past two games.

* The Devils have been hot -- riding a five-game winning streak heading into last night's game -- despite playing without No. 1 goaltender Martin Brodeur. Brodeur has been on injured reserve with an elbow injury since Nov. 1. The Devils lost five of their first six games without Brodeur, but have since adjusted to life without their star in net.

"There's obviously lots of hype because of Marty's stature, but those adjustments are a lot of different things, not just Marty," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "They've done a great job. "It has some kind of impact on your team and the biggest thing is for us to settle down and recognize, 'Ok, fine, these guys are gone. They're out of the lineup. Let's get our guys that are here.' The guys have really responded to it."

* C Sidney Crosby, on the Penguins' struggling power-play, which entered last night in a 1-for-22 funk: "It's a battle-level (thing). Obviously, you are outnumbering the other team, but that's useless if you don't compete and win battles and gain control. We have the skill once we gain control to make things happen. But we have to do a better job, whether we chase guys on the dump-in and retrieve the puck that way ... we've got to gain control."

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