Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Happy Pyatt Brings Needed Size to Lineup

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Happy Pyatt Brings Needed Size to Lineup

Article excerpt

It was not exactly a holiday well-wisher on the other end when Taylor Pyatt answered his phone New Year's Day.

"I got the call that I had been put on waivers," the left winger said Friday before he made his Penguins debut at Consol Energy Center against the team that waived him, the New York Rangers. The Penguins claimed him Thursday.

"Definitely a lot going through your mind," Pyatt said. "I wasn't sure if I would get picked up. Probably a chance of going to the minors. To get picked up by Pittsburgh, to get a fresh start, an opportunity there, it worked out pretty well."

Pyatt, 32, played left wing on the third line with Joe Vitale and Craig Adams.

He arrived in town after midnight Friday morning and, before the game-day skate, took a crash course in Penguins hockey -- although coach Dan Bylsma said he advised Pyatt to concentrate on playing rather than trying to master everything the Penguins do or worry about making a couple of mistakes.

"It's been kind of a whirlwind 24 hours getting here and getting settled," Pyatt said.

At 6 feet 4, 235 pounds, Pyatt gives the Penguins size at forward that they had not had. He played in all 48 games of the lockout- shortened 2012-13 season for the Rangers but fell out of favor this season, New York's first under coach Alain Vigneault, playing in just 22 of the first 42 games and none after Dec. 12.

"It was a tough three months for me," Pyatt said. "I got off to sort of a tough start. I had an injury, and then it was sort of a battle trying to get back in the lineup. Sitting out the amount of games I did over the last month, it was pretty hard to feel like you're part of the team.

"So to get an opportunity here is exciting. I just want to try to take advantage of it."

MALKIN, LETANG WAIT AND WAIT

After defenseman Kris Letang (left elbow) and center Evgeni Malkin (left leg) practiced Thursday, it seemed there was a chance they would return from injury in the Rangers game.

It didn't work out that way.

Malkin, who said he was waiting for a last bit of pain and weakness to subside, skated with injured winger Jayson Megna and conditioning coach Mike Kadar before the game-day skate. …

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