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Penguins star Malkin stays up despite slump

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Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010

VANCOUVER — Center Evgeni Malkin has gone 11 games without a goal for the Penguins, but he seemed in good spirits Friday after a practice at GM Place in Vancouver.

"I don't care, because everybody is in the same situation," he said of concern about finding his usual high-scoring form less than a month before he plays for Russia at the Vancouver Olympics.

Malkin added that Penguins coaches have helped him with patience.

"It's (been) two (long) years; we played in the (Stanley Cup) Finals," he said. "It's a little bit different situation now, but it's OK."

» Defenseman Brooks Orpik did not practice and will not play Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks. Orpik will miss his fourth game since he was injured Jan. 9 in a win at Toronto.

"Brooks is ... getting better, probably better than we originally thought," coach Dan Bylsma said. "We think he'll be back at practice pretty soon, and we'll go from there."

» Winger Matt Cooke, who is four goals shy of matching his total from last season, will play at Vancouver for the first time since he was traded to Washington two years ago; he signed with the Penguins in July 2008.

"My family made Vancouver home for a long time," he said after showing several area friends his 2009 Stanley Cup ring. "It's been a while, so I'm far enough removed. Most of the emotion has gone away. It was a bit of a tough situation when I left here. I think it was best for both parties ... both sides are doing well now, and it's a good feeling."

» Bylsma said the Canucks, whom the Penguins have played only twice the last two seasons, do not compare to any regular Eastern Conference foe.

"Speaking of (Canucks twin forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin) and their power play, I don't know if we have a line that works off each other quite as well as these guys do, and on a power-play unit," Bylsma said, adding the Canucks' advantage approach is similar to the Washington Capitals' "quick plays" attack.

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