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.
- Ducks hold off spirited Stars comeback, take 1-0 series lead 5
- Weise gives Canadiens 1-0 series lead with overtime win 7
- Penguins outlast Blue Jackets, take Game 1 47
- Emery to start Game 1 versus Rangers 79
- Bulletin-board material: Why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup 36
- PHT staff picks: Who’s going to win the Stanley Cup? 57
- 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: PHT’s Round 1 picks 35
- Pressing Question: Can the Blackhawks avoid the Stanley Cup hangover? 10
- Florida wins ’14 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall 42
- Philly mum on Mason’s availability for Game 1 vs. Rangers 26
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension (91)
- Emery to start Game 1 versus Rangers (79)
- Lightning’s Malone arrested for DUI, cocaine possession (73)
- Update: Daniel Sedin in stable condition, hospitalized after scary hit (58)
- PHT staff picks: Who’s going to win the Stanley Cup? (57)