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Injured Asham close to returning to Pens' lineup

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Josh Yohe
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
 

• Arron Asham, one of numerous players out with a concussion, is taking strides toward returning to the lineup. Out of action since sustaining a concussion Feb. 1 against the Rangers, Asham skated before practice, an encouraging sign that he could return at some point this month. Coach Dan Bylsma acknowledged that Asham has been symptom-free for six days. His return to the lineup, though, is not imminent. "He's got a ways to go conditioning-wise," Bylsma said.

• The Penguins hosted children from Make A Wish, The Children's Institute and the Children's Home of Pittsburgh Monday at practice. After watching practice at Consol Energy Center, the children and their families spent time with the Penguins, receiving autographs and getting pictures taken with the players.

• Defenseman Brooks Orpik is out at least another two weeks with a broken finger, though Bylsma acknowledged that pain tolerance isn't why he is sidelined. Bylsma said Orpik could be playing now, but that the threat of the finger becoming displaced is enough to keep him out.

• Penguins RW Eric Godard, who is eligible to return to the lineup tonight after serving a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench on Long Island, celebrated his 31st birthday in amusing fashion Monday. The Penguins sang "Happy Birthday" to Godard while he was in the middle of an interview and even slammed a pie in his face.

• The Penguins will extend a franchise record tonight by registering their 200th consecutive sellout.

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