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Rossi: Orpik likely unable to play in Game 6

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Brooks Orpik is likely to miss a second consecutive Stanley Cup playoff game for the Penguins on Monday night.

Orpik, a defenseman, did not participate in a morning practice at Nationwide Arena. Instead, he spent time riding a stationary bike outside the visitors’ dressing room. Orpik was not wearing any braces on either his knees or ankles, and did not have any part of his mid- to lower-body areas wrapped in ice or heat.

Orpik did not play in the Penguins’ home Game 5 victory on Saturday night. Team policy is not to provide specifics regarding injury during the playoffs, but Orpik walked gingerly after the contest.

Whatever the injury, it is limiting Orpik’s ability to skate confidently.

With Orpik out, defenseman Robert Bortuzzo would make his second consecutive appearance for the Penguins, who can advance to Round 2 with a win  over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

Coach Dan Bylsma said Marc-Andre Fleury will start for the Penguins. He also promised to “feel out” opportunities to play centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin together at even strength.

Crosby and Malkin have not scored a goal against Columbus. Neither has scored a playoff goal since Round 2 last postseason.

Bylsma played Crosby and Malkin together on the top line throughout Game 5 on Saturday night.

 

>> Columbus will play without defenseman Nikita Nikitin and winger RJ Umberger, coach Todd Richards said. Both players are out with injuries. Nick Schultz will play for Nikitin and Jared Boll will replace Umberger.

 

>> The #TribHKY Insider looks at Marcel Goc’s impact on how the Penguins can use Crosby and Malkin: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/6015770-74/malkin-dupuis-crosby#axzz2zlpPLkMm

 

>> Josh Yohe examines the defense without its leader, Orpik: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5983372-74/game-penguins-defenseman#axzz2zlpPLkMm

 

>> Jason Mackey reports on the readiness of the Blue Jackets: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/6015712-74/game-jackets-blue

 

>> Chris Adamski notes Bylsma’s plan to use more of his franchise centers on one line: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/6008380-74/bylsma-penguins-game#axzz2zlpPLkMm

 

>> Contributor Craig Merz on the Blue Jackets’ Boone Jenner: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/6008395-74/jenner-columbus-game

 

Be EXCELLENT to each other,

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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