Penguins Notebook: Dumoulin awaits debut in NHL


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Brian Dumoulin had not appeared in an NHL game before the Penguins recalled him from their minor league team in Wilkes-Barre earlier this week. He still hasn't.

Dumoulin, 22, was summoned after Brooks Orpik got at least a concussion, when he was attacked by Boston enforcer Shawn Thornton in the Penguins' 3-2 loss Saturday at TD Garden.

He was in town well before the Penguins' 2-1 victory Monday night against Columbus at Consol Energy Center, but spent the evening in street clothes as coach Dan Bylsma and his staff opted to dress Robert Bortuzzo instead. Not playing against the Blue Jackets had to be a bit of a disappointment, but Dumoulin said after practice Tuesday that he wasn't upset.

"That's just the way it works," he said. "They decided not to play me, which is fine. I'm just really excited about the call-up."

Although he had a chance to make his NHL debut two days ago, Dumoulin said his parents hadn't traveled in from their home in Biddeford, Maine, for the Columbus game.

"They'll see how the week goes, then go from there," he said.

His next chance to make his NHL debut will come Friday, when New Jersey visits Consol Energy Center.

Maintenance day for Malkin

Center Evgeni Malkin, who scored the Penguins' first goal against Columbus, did not participate in practice Tuesday.

Bylsma said he was given a "maintenance day."

Malkin missed games last Thursday and Saturday because of an unspecified injury.

Bortuzzo, Despres reunited

Bortuzzo was paired with Simon Despres, who used to be his regular defense partner in Wilkes-Barre, against the Blue Jackets.

"We had a lot of success playing against other team's first lines," Despres said. "It's been awhile since we played together, but we've had our fair share of time together and success together. We just want to be sound defensively, good in our own zone and don't give them odd-man rushes. Give the puck to the forwards and be physical in our own end.

"We're two big bodies ... we want to take away time and space and have good gaps."

Despres is more of a two-way force than Bortuzzo, who specializes in playing in his own end, although Bylsma pointed out that Despres isn't exactly a liability in the defensive zone.

"He's a good defender and he's a physical player," Bylsma said. "Physically, he's able to defend and he's certainly a good skater."

No off day for Bylsma

The Penguins, who do not play again until New Jersey visits Friday night, have a scheduled day off today. The players do, anyway.

For Bylsma, who will coach Team USA at the 2014 Olympics, it will be a chance to evaluate players competing for a spot on the team.

"It will be an opportunity to look at Team USA, look at players," he said.

"We're getting down to the short strokes here, when it comes to making decisions on the team."

Bylsma planned to study video at home Tuesday night -- "My wife is used to looking at both Penguins and Team USA at home, so we'll do it as a family," he said -- and expected the process would spill over into today.

"It won't be much of a day off," he said.

Tip-ins

The Penguins assigned forward Harry Zolnierczyk to Wilkes-Barre. ... Thousands of elementary and middle-school students attended the Penguins' workout Tuesday. No attendance was announced, but team officials had been expecting about 8,000 children from 63 schools.

Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com and Twitter @MolinariPG


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