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Penguins Recall One Third Of Their Minor League Forwards

In a massive and almost unprecedented move, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced today that they’ve called up four forwards from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Those coming up to Pittsburgh are Nick Johnson, Brett Sterling, Ryan Craig and Joe Vitale. From a team release:

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Johnson, 25, leads WBS with 20 goals while placing second (tied) with 39 points in 48 games. He also has a team-high 10 power-play goals.

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Sterling, 26, is also tied for second in scoring on WBS with 39 points through 46 contests. He’s posted 18 goals, 21 assists, six power-play goals and a plus-12 rating.

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Craig, 29, ranks fourth on WBS with 33 points on 13 goals and 20 assists in 49 games.

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Vitale, 25, has appeared in 50 games this season for WBS, recording eight goals, 27 points, a plus-12 rating and two shorthanded tallies.

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Johnson played six games with Pittsburgh last year, scoring one goal and adding an assist. Sterling has been a super-star in the minor league level, but his lack of size at 5’7 has prevented him from sticking in the NHL. Craig, the captain of the WB/S team, has 184 career NHL games, all with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vitale, a St. Louis native, will be making his NHL debut.

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In an incredible figure, if all of those four play tonight against the Los Angeles Kings, there will have been six forwards that started the season in WB/S for the NHL lineup tonight.

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Truly injuries have taken their toll on the Penguins, who will be grasping at anything possible to stay competitive while NHL players like Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, and Mark Letestu all work on rehabbing injuries.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.