Penguins notebook: No report on Brooks Orpik after on-ice collision


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DETROIT -- The Penguins, with a lineup close to what they might use when the season opens, dominated a watered-down Detroit lineup in a 5-1 preseason win Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.

They finished their preseason schedule 3-2-1.

Chris Kunitz had two goals for the Penguins. Jussi Jokinen, Craig Adams and Pascal Dupuis each had one. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had two assists.

One point of concern is defenseman Brooks Orpik, who did not play in the third period. He collided with fellow Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland and Red Wings winger Drew Miller just before Miller scored in the second period. There was no immediate update on Orpik's status.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 16 of 17 Red Wings shots and had an assist.

Competition helps Maatta

The Penguins might have the finest collection of young defensemen in the NHL.

That's terrific for the coaches and management, who have no shortage of blue-line assets with which to work, but it seems like it could be discouraging for high-quality prospects who will have to outdo elite competition to advance in the organization.

That doesn't seem to bother 19-year-old Olli Maatta, however.

"It's awesome," he said. "It's a lot of competition, and that drives a player to practice harder, work harder. It's healthy competition, especially for the junior guys here.

"On the ice, we're competing against each other, but, off the ice, we're buddies. That's awesome. I think it's good for everybody."

Veteran Paul Martin, who broke into the league with New Jersey, said he benefited from breaking in with an organization that had a bounty of outstanding defensemen, and that getting additional seasoning can have long-term benefits for young players.

"When I came up in Jersey, there were [Scott] Niedermayer and [Scott] Stevens and [Brian] Rafalski, and you learn from them and you see what separates them from everybody else," Martin said. "Eventually, your time will come.

"At 18 or 19, as a [defenseman playing] in the league is pretty rare. In a couple of years, especially in an organization like this that has a great coaching staff and system, ideally that would be the way to go, as opposed to playing games on a team that maybe wasn't as successful, or an in organization where you rely more on doing it for yourself rather than other people helping you out."

Vokoun out of hospital

Goaltender Tomas Vokoun is out of the hospital, coach Dan Bylsma said, but no timetable for his return has been set. Vokoun had a procedure Saturday to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis.

penguins

Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly. First Published September 26, 2013 4:00 AM


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