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

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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

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

 
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