February 10, 2011 12:10 pm

Some new kids on the Pittsburgh block

Based on this morning’s skate, it seems that all four players called up from the AHL will be in Pittsburgh’s lineup, on either the third or four line. That includes Pasadena native Brett Sterling (picture), who has 19 previous NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers and who had 18 goals and 21 assists in 46 AHL games this season. Joe Vitale is scheduled for his NHL debut while Nick Johnson will play his seventh game. The Penguins are having to mix and match without injured forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz and suspended forward Matt Cooke. Terry Murray was asked today about facing the shorthanded Penguins…

MURRAY: “Any time you lose top players like that, in the game, it’s really unfortunate for the game of hockey. But from our side of it, we have to come out and play the right way. We have to do the same things, and know that we’ve got to work hard, that every shift matters. So whether you have the top players of the opponent against you, or you have a banged-up team, I know darn well that Pittsburgh is still a very good defensive hockey club. They’re going to bring a lot of intensity, a lot of hard play, and we’ve got to be ready to match that.”

Question: They have a couple guys in their lineup that you probably don’t know a lot about…

MURRAY: “We have our secret scouts all over the place, to give us a lot of feedback on players. [smiles] It’s great to see young players. We went through the process there, just a couple years ago, with bringing a lot of young players into the organization and not knowing who they were and giving them an opportunity to play. And they’re pretty good players. There’s a lot of emotion and adrenaline, and they’re going to go out there tonight and give everything they can. This is their opportunity to show management that they’re ready to play in the National Hockey League. So it will be a high-energy game.”

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