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Penguins Practice: Changes on Defense; Rakell, Acciari Full Go



Noel Acciari, Pittsburgh Penguins
Noel Acciari

The Pittsburgh Penguins had a pretty full but brief practice Sunday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, and they made some changes — specifically on defense.

They adjusted their defense pairings, moving Ryan Graves off Kris Letang’s flank in favor of Marcus Pettersson, and flipping Graves to Erik Karlsson’s side, changing the look of their top two pairings.

John Ludvig and Chad Ruhwedel made up the third pairing, with P.O Joseph and Ryan Shea skating as a spare pairing.

Meanwhile, forwards Noel Acciari and Rickard Rakell in full-participation jerseys.

Rakell, who has been out since Nov. 19, has been practicing and seemed close to playing Saturday in Toronto but did not. Acciari, who has been out since Nov. 30, had practiced previously in a non-contact jersey. Their injuries have not been disclosed.

Acciari centered the fourth line between Jansen Harkins and Jeff Carter.

“It’s good to get back out with those guys again. I felt good,” Acciari said, adding that he wasn’t sure about a timetable to return to games.

It remains to be seen what the Penguins’ lineup will look like Monday when the Minnesota Wild visit PPG Paints Arena, both because of the status of the injured players and because of the nature of the team’s 7-0 debacle Saturday at Toronto.