Orpik's status for Penguins game today not clear
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The Penguins might have to do some late lineup shuffling for their game today against Tampa Bay at Consol Energy Center.
After practice Friday, defenseman Brooks Orpik sounded a little less optimistic about playing the weekend than he had Thursday.
Orpik practiced the past two days after missing the game Tuesday night against the New York Rangers because of an undisclosed injury.
"Hopefully, I'll wake up [today] and at least feel good enough to take warm-ups and see how it goes," Orpik said.
Coach Dan Bylsma again described Orpik's status as "day to day."
Also in question is the status of backup goaltender Brent Johnson. He missed the Tuesday game because of illness, then missed practice Friday because he "tweaked something" Thursday in practice, Bylsma said.
Goaltender Brad Thiessen, summoned on an emergency basis to dress Tuesday as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup, was recalled again Friday afternoon and likely will fill that role for the second game in a row.
Johnson most likely was a candidate to start the Sunday afternoon home game against Columbus, but now that situation is unclear.
Defenseman Matt Niskanen, who missed practice Thursday because of illness, returned Friday.
"I hope I'm ready to go," Niskanen said.
"Nothing's official yet, but I feel a lot better than I did the last couple of days."
Bylsma was cornered by a guy in a coffee shop a couple of days ago and got the guy's take on the kind of impact move he thought the Penguins should make before the 3 p.m. Monday trade deadline.
The guy coveted Columbus winger Rick Nash, easily the biggest name on the trading block but also a big-ticket player with a salary-cap hit of $7.8 million per season through 2017-18.
Bylsma acknowledged that acquiring Nash wouldn't work for cap reasons, but he has his own dream move -- one that Penguins fans no doubt would all agree on and have clamored for.
"The best situation, best trade [general manager] Ray Shero could make is for Sidney Crosby," Bylsma said.
Of course, that's not in Shero's control.
Crosby hasn't played since Dec. 5 and has appeared in just eight games since January 2011 because of a concussion and neck injury.
But a guy can dream.
"When you talk about what would make our team better, what our team would need, the guy wearing 87 would be a good start for Ray on Monday," Bylsma said.
Bylsma felt compelled to add about Crosby, "We don't have any time line or idea when or if that's going to be a possibility," and about any trades involving the Penguins, "Who knows if anything's going to happen here for our team?"
The Lightning's day didn't go as planned.
The team's flight Friday from Winnipeg -- where it lost, 4-3, the previous night -- was delayed, then was bumpy. So, a late afternoon practice scheduled for Consol Energy Center was ditched.
"Being two hours late to take off and all the shaking and this and that, by the time we got here, we just canceled everything," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said.
"It's better. It's a long day. Playing at 1 [today]. It would [have been] a late practice. We've got a lot of guys that were playing a lot, overtaking. I don't think going on the ice [Friday] for two drills is going to make much of a difference."
Crosby joined practice for the second day in a row and is scheduled to skate separately today. He has not been cleared for contact. ... Penguins winger Tyler Kennedy (high-ankle sprain) skated before practice for the second day in a row, this time in full gear and with trainer Chris Stewart. ... Cameras will follow Penguins winger James Neal today and Sunday for an episode of "NHL 36," which will air at 6:30 p.m. March 7 on NBC Sports Network, preceding a telecast of a home game that night against Toronto. ... Boucher confirmed former Penguins winger Tim Wallace will make his Lightning debut today after being claimed on waivers from the New York Islanders this week.
First Published February 25, 2012 12:00 am