Penguins claim Taylor Pyatt off waivers

Taylor Pyatt skates during a game against the

Taylor Pyatt skates during a game against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden. (Jan. 23, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

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PITTSBURGH -- After playing in 22 games for the Rangers this season, Taylor Pyatt likely will be in a Penguins uniform Friday night against the Blueshirts.

The Penguins claimed the 32-year-old forward -- who has one assist, is a minus-9 and hasn't played since Dec. 12 -- off waivers on Thursday. He presumably will be in the Pens' lineup against the Rangers at CONSOL Energy Center. Although they are getting healthier, the Penguins still have a number of AHL players in their lineup.

After being signed to a two-year, $3.1-million deal by the Rangers as a free agent, Pyatt played all 48 games last season, had six goals and five assists and was a plus-5. He has played for Vancouver, Phoenix, Buffalo and the Islanders and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The move means two things: Captain Ryan Callahan, who has missed the last nine games with a sprained left MCL and practiced again Thursday, likely will play Friday night against the Penguins or Saturday night in Toronto. The right wing has seven goals and 13 points in 24 games.

The Rangers have a little more room to maneuver, with about $2.6 million in cap space, and are carrying eight defensemen. The Ottawa Senators have discussed a possible trade for Michael Del Zotto, but the player to be exchanged, which was unconfirmed, appeared to have too high a cap figure.

Del Zotto has been scratched eight times, including against Florida in the Rangers' 2-1 overtime win on New Year's Eve. Alain Vigneault, who repeatedly has said Del Zotto's play hasn't been what he expected, said in Florida that Del Zotto was battling for a spot as the sixth defenseman and it is "up to him" to improve.

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Said Vigneault, "Michael's never complained to me, and when I've shown him video on what he needs to improve or if [assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson] has shown him video, he hasn't complained to me."

Henrik Lundqvist, who was in net for both wins in Florida, is expected to start against the Pens.

Notes & quotes: Although the U.S. named its Olympic roster on Wednesday, other countries chose to accept the offer of a weeklong extension. Three other Rangers are expected to be named to the teams headed to Sochi, Russia, in February; Lundqvist (Sweden), Mats Zuccarello (Norway) and Rick Nash (Canada) appear to be sure things. Carl Hagelin (Sweden) has been on some projection lists; countryman Anton Stralman has not . . . Prospect Pavel Buchnevich scored twice and had an assist as Russia ousted the defending champion U.S. team at the World Junior Championships in Sweden . . . Anthony DuClair, 18, the Rangers' third-round pick in last year's draft, has signed an entry-level contract. He has 31 goals and 57 points in 37 games for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.

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