By: Mike Vukovcan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Coming off of their most complete effort in a few weeks, the Pittsburgh Penguins were back on the ice Tuesday morning for practice at the CONSOL Energy Center.

Prior to practice, General Manager Ray Shero announced that F Ryan Craig and D Brian Strait were sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Strait made his NHL debut last night and logged 13:02 of ice-time.

Those moves were expected considering newcomers James Neal and Matt Niskanen will make their Penguins debut tomorrow night against the San Jose Sharks.

Here are a couple notes from the start of Pens practice:

  • Both Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin aren’t practicing with the team today. Martin missed last night’s game after being injured Sunday at Chicago.
  • Injured forwards Chris Kunitz, Dustin Jeffrey and Mark Letestu took part in individual drills prior to the team practice. Of the three, Kunitz has the best shot of returning to the lineup tomorrow night.
  • Niskanen and Neal are late for the practice because their flight to Pittsburgh was diverted to Newark, N.J. last night. Their flight out this morning was delayed and they are expected to join the team on the ice midway through the practice.
  • Pens head coach has ruled defenseman Paul Martin out of tomorrow night’s game.
  • Eric Tangradi, Nick Johnson and Aaron Asham are all still suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
  • Dustin Jeffrey and Mark Letestu have been fully cleared to return to practice.
  • Bylsma announced that Neal will skate on a line with Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy.

Jory Rand is covering practice for KDKA-TV and will provide me with more details later this morning.


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