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Penguins Practice: Kapanen Returns, Sullivan Preaches

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Coach Mike Sullivan leads a pre-practice talk with his players.

Pittsburgh Penguins injured second-line winger Kasperi Kapanen returned to practice Wednesday in what appeared to be full participation.

Kapenen and injured linemate Evgeni Malkin skated with the taxi squad before the main practice session. Kapanen then returned with the main group.

Kapanen, who has been out the past 13 games after taking a puck to the foot, and Malkin participated in Tuesday’s morning skate in a limited capacity, both in white non-contact jerseys.

Malkin has missed the past 17 games because of what might be a knee injury. He remained on the ice after the taxi squad session and did not return for the main session.

It’s unclear whether Kapanen could be ready to return Thursday when the Penguins again host the New Jersey Devils after a calamitous 7-6 win Tuesday, although he said after practice that he doesn’t have a target date.

Coach Mike Sullivan opened practice not with a dry-erase board session or with a drill but with a fairly lengthy talk with his players gathered around him, surely related to Tuesday’s game and what the team has to do to bounce back — and, even though it was a win, almost blowing a 6-0 lead and barely hanging on for the win is a game the Penguins need to bounce back from with two more games in a row against New Jersey at PPG Paints Arena.

For what it’s worth, it did not seem that Sullivan raised his voice or read the team a riot act. It appeared to be more of a prolonged coaching/teaching moment.

When the drills began, Kapanen, at least to start, took line rushes but was somewhat limited, joining the fourth line at times. He also drew in some with the second power play unit..

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Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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William Maloni
William Maloni
3 months ago

We know the team knows better.

But, it looked to me as if they got point happy and everyone wanted to join the party.

William Maloni
William Maloni
3 months ago
Reply to  William Maloni

Initially, I forgot to add “and not play defense.”

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