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Penguins' Orpik sees room for improvement

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Monday, May 25, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. — Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik knows his club can play better.

On Saturday night, after a convincing 6-2 victory in Game 3 of a best-of-seven Eastern Conference final to take a 3-0 series lead over the Carolina Hurricanes, Orpik spoke of what the Penguins must improve upon to close out the Hurricanes in Game 4 at RBC Center on Tuesday.

"(In Game 2), and in both of their goals (in Game 3), we have to be better around our net," Orpik said of the Hurricanes' success getting to loose pucks off rebounds from saves by Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

"Our forwards aren't turning pucks over, which allows us to have good gaps — and we've had good gaps, so we're forcing them to chip pucks. They're not getting much off the rushes. They're just getting into the zone and firing pucks near the net.

"It's not anything fancy, and it's up to us to take that away."

Neither the Penguins nor Hurricanes practiced Sunday, but each club will return to its regular routine today.

Orpik said he expects a spirited effort from the Hurricanes, even though only two NHL teams have rallied to win a best-of-seven series after trailing, 3-0.

"This team, every single time you think they're down and out, they bounce right back," he said. "I don't think anybody in our room feels that comfortable. We feel fortunate to be in this position, but at the same time we have a tremendous amount of respect for those guys and how resilient they are."

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