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Strait helps out on defense following trade |

Strait helps out on defense following trade

| Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:00 a.m

— With Alex Goligoski traded to Dallas and Paul Martin banged up, the Penguins looked to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for help. Brian Strait, a highly regarded defensive defenseman, was recalled Monday. A third-round pick in 2006, the Boston native is a plus-17 at Wilkes-Barre and has scored eight points. Wilkes-Barre has been the AHL’s best defensive team this season and the Penguins are high on many defensemen at that level, notably Strait. He was a plus-22 last season while playing 78 games in Wilkes-Barre.

Strait showed some signs of nerves last night, stumbling during his first NHL shift.

— The beginning of the second period was delayed six minutes because of a problem with the lighting system at Consol Energy Center, leaving the building almost dark.

— There were plenty of late-arriving fans at Consol — and likely the most empty seats of the season — because of the late-afternoon snowstorm.

— C Jordan Staal played against the Capitals despite being hit in the face by a puck in overtime Sunday against the Blackhawks. There was some concern that he wouldn’t be able to play following Sunday’s game, but Staal was able to play without a shield.

— D Paul Martin did not play against Washington. He was hit from behind against Chicago and fell into the boards. Martin returned in that game but was ruled out prior to yesterday’s contest. He isn’t believed to be seriously injured.

— LW Chris Kunitz skated yesterday morning and is believed to be close to returning to the lineup. He has been nursing a lower-body injury.

— RW Eric Godard was the only healthy scratch yesterday.

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