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Penguins coach expects Staal, Letang to play

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011

Penguins center Jordan Staal and defenseman Kris Letang missed practice for a second consecutive day at Southpointe on Tuesday, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma emphasized that he believes both will play in San Jose and Los Angeles later this week. Staal missed Saturday's game against Toronto with a lower-body injury.

"Continued maintenance recovering from bumps and bruises," Bylsma said.

Staal skated before practice for a second straight day.

The nature of Letang's injury is unknown, though Letang and Staal were seen at Southpointe walking without limps.

Bylsma feels optimistic that two of his more important players will be available starting Thursday against the Sharks.

"I still do at this point in time," he said.

> > Defenseman Ben Lovejoy took a scary fall at practice after colliding with right wing Craig Adams and rushed off the ice while holding his face. However, Lovejoy emerged from the locker room about 15 minutes later in good spirits. Bylsma described his injury as a superficial cut to the chin and said Lovejoy will be fine to play against the Sharks.

> > Right wing Tyler Kennedy remains out and has not been seen at practice since being diagnosed Oct. 16 with concussion symptoms. Also not practicing were defensemen Zbynek Michalek (broken finger) and Brian Strait (wrist injury), both of whom are expected to miss a few more weeks.

> > The Penguins held one of their longest practices of the season, skating for almost 90 minutes at Southpointe. They will leave for San Jose this morning and practice in California later Wednesday.




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