Dec 27, 2013, 12:44 PM EDT
Brooks Orpik has been activated from injured reserve and was a full participant at Pittsburgh’s morning skate on Friday, likely to return to the lineup for tonight’s affair in Carolina.
“We have seven healthy defensemen,” Orpik said, per the Penguins’ Twitter feed. “We’ll find out who the coaches put in, but I’m excited to get back in there.”
Orpik took the morning skate paired with Deryk Engelland (who is eligible to return from a five-game suspension), and looked ready to play in his first game since the Boston/Shawn Thornton incident on Dec. 7. The 33-year-old rearguard suffered a concussion that night — after Thornton tripped him to the ice, then punched him — and has missed the last eight games, during which Pittsburgh has gone 7-1-0.
Prior to getting hurt, Orpik was enjoying a highly successful campaign. He had seven points through 31 games and was averaging 21:30 TOI per night.
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