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OffDayLOG: Neal tries to practice; Orpik absent again for Pens.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Real Deal really gave it a try Saturday.

James Neal skated on his own for about 10 minutes then tried to practice with the Penguins at Nassau Coliseum. However, he did not finish the session, departing early after about 10 minutes on the ice with teammates.

Neal, a right winger, was injured (right ankle) in Game 1 on Wednesday. He did not play in the Penguins’ loss in Game 2 on Friday. He had not skated since he was injured.

He is not expected to play when the Penguins’ resume their first-round playoff series against the New York Islanders with Game 3 on the road.

= D Brooks Orpik did not practice for a second straight day, and he was not visible at Nassau Coliseum.

Orpik has not played in Games 1 and 2, and he is not likely to play in Game 3.

A lower-body injury has prevented him from playing in four straight games dating to the regular-season.

The Penguins’ policy for the playoffs is not to provide updates on injured players.

= C Evgeni Malkin did not practice, though he did spend a couple of minutes on the ice before the session shooting a puck off the boards at Nassau Coliseum.

Malkin has been dealing with an injured-right shoulder for nearly two months, and coach Dan Bylsma, while not addressing Malkin specifically, did allow on Saturday that players could be given days off to rest during the playoffs.

= That is all for the news of the day. There will be more details in #TribHK online/print coverage to advance Game 3. Also, some really good stuff is coming Sunday from Josh Yohe and Dejan Kovacevic – each taking a look at a high-profile Penguins player.

–Rob Rossi

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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