Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Conner out, but Pyatt Joins Cast

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Conner out, but Pyatt Joins Cast

Article excerpt

The Penguins' injury merry-go-round was operational again Thursday.

They signed forward Taylor Pyatt off waivers from the New York Rangers not long before coach Dan Bylsma announced that winger Chris Conner will need surgery for a hand injury and will miss six to eight weeks.

Conner, who also has spent time in the American Hockey League this season, was hurt Tuesday in the loss at New Jersey. He has four goals and an assist in 19 games with the Penguins, mostly in a top- six forward role.

Pyatt, 32, is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound veteran who has 136 goals, 276 points in 825 games with five NHL teams. He is expected to join the club Friday for the morning skate. If he is in the Penguins lineup tonight, he will be facing the Rangers, who are playing at Consol Energy Center.

He played all 48 games for the Rangers last season, which was shortened by a lockout, collecting six goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-5. This season, he played in just 22 of New York's first 41 games, with one assist and a minus-9 rating. The Rangers had a coaching change in the offseason.

"Being able to add an NHL player, forward, with our injury situation is key," Bylsma said, adding that Pyatt "has not been able to get footing [this season with the Rangers] and be a factor."

Pyatt's salary cap hit is $1.55 million, and he is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Coming sooner than later

Two Penguins could be close to returning from injury, and they are prominent ones.

Center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang are hopeful of participating in the game-day skate and could be in the lineup against the Rangers.

"I'll skate in the morning with the team, and we'll see. Maybe," Malkin said after practice Thursday.

Malkin, who has nine goals and 32 assists in 32 games, has what is believed to be a left leg injury from slamming skates-first into the end boards while backchecking in a Dec. 14 game at Detroit. He got some contact Thursday in practice. …

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