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NHL Playoffs 2012: Penguins Without Matt Cooke And Matt Niskanen

The Pittsburgh Penguins sent tough guy Steve MacIntyre back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ahead of their opening round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers, according to Shelly Anderson of the Post-Gazette. That move comes as the Pens saw a pair of injured players return to the ice for practice on Monday, while the status of others, including Matt Niskanen, is still up in the air.

Wingers James Neal and Steve Sullivan were on the ice for practice Monday morning. Both players missed the final two games of the regular season. Winger Matt Cooke and Niskanen, a defenseman, were not skating with the team at the Consol Energy Center.

The Post-Gazette speculated that Cooke could be getting an extra day of rest ahead of the playoffs. Even less is known about the status of Niskanen, who took a crushing blow from Boston last week. His status for the start of the series with the Flyers is unknown.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.