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Penguins getting back to a healthy lineup

MONTREAL — After dealing with crippling injuries for the better part of the past six weeks, the Penguins are almost completely healthy.

Alex Goligoski, who has only played one game in the past month because of two separate injuries, played Thursday in Montreal.

"I feel really good," Goligoski said. "I feel like I'm ready to handle a whole workload."

Goligoski has been terrific all season and should be able to help the team's floundering power play.

Coming into action Thursday, the Penguins were converting only 14 percent of their power plays, good for 28th in the NHL.

"I hope I can help out," Goligoski said. "We'll see."

Goligoski's return meant that the Penguins were able to use their six-man starting defensive unit for the first time since Sergei Gonchar broke his wrist Oct. 20. He played in Montreal with Jay McKee, which was how the duo started the season.

"The guys who got called up did a great job," Goligoski said. "Now we need to stay healthy."

» Sergei Gonchar's first-period goal marked the first time in seven contests that the Penguins have scored first in a game.

» Injured left wing Chris Kunitz took part in the morning skate, marking the fourth straight day he has skated with the team. He is believed to be close to making his return.

» Defenseman Martin Skoula, who has played in every game since Gonchar's injury, was the team's lone healthy scratch.

» French Canadians Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis and Kris Letang were playing in Montreal for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup.

» Perhaps the scoreboard operator felt like insulting the Penguins. During the first period at the Bell Centre, the name under the Penguins logo on the scoreboard read "Flyers."

» Penguins forward Mike Rupp told reporters he wanted an immediate report of the Steelers-Browns game in the locker room following the Penguins game in Montreal. Rupp, a Cleveland native, is an avid Browns fan.

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