It was a skilled-player's move, placing his stick blade between his skates to deflect a point shot by Rob Scuderi past Phoenix goaltender Thomas Greiss for a goal.
"I was just able to get my stick on it," Taylor Pyatt said of his first-period goal for the Penguins Tuesday night against Phoenix. "It's a pretty nice feeling."
A feeling that was tempered by the fact that after he tied the score, 2-2, the Coyotes got the only goal to hand the Penguins a frustrating, 3-2 loss.
"It never quite feels the same when it comes in a loss, but it's definitely nice to score and contribute a little bit, especially against your old team," said Pyatt, who spent three seasons with Phoenix before moving on to the New York Rangers.
The Penguins claimed Pyatt Jan. 2 from the Rangers off waivers. Until last week, he was steadily in the lineup, other than two games he missed before the Olympic break because of injury.
Before the game against Phoenix, Pyatt had been a healthy scratch for three of the previous four games, including one in which coach Dan Bylsma went with seven defensemen and just 11 forwards. Although he only played nine minutes against the Coyotes, Pyatt had the goal, two hits and some jump in his game.
"Just trying to get back in the lineup," he said. "I've been in and out the last little while. I'm just trying to play with a little more confidence, make some plays. Felt a little better, but just disappointing we weren't able to get a win. I just want to stay in the lineup and contribute. We don't have many games left in the regular season. I'm trying to improve and get my game ready for the playoffs. I feel like I took a step in the right direction [Tuesday]."
It was Pyatt's third goal since joining the Penguins.
No Quick decision
Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter stopped just short Wednesday of naming No. 1 goaltender Jonathan Quick the starter for the game tonight against the Penguins at Consol Energy Center.
Sutter indicated that the Kings are trying to get Quick more starts in what has been an injury-hampered season for the team's No. 1 goalie.
"We're trying to get him up to [a higher total]," Sutter said. "A horse has to run every 10 days."
It would be the fifth start in a row for Quick.
Penguins winger Beau Bennett, playing in his third and final game on an American Hockey League conditioning assignment, had no points in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's 2-1 loss Wednesday against Providence. It's unclear when Bennett, coming off of hand/wrist surgery, will return to the NHL lineup. ... Penguins center Sidney Crosby not only leads the NHL with 95 points in 72 games, but his 33 home assists and 55 home points also lead the league.
Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.