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Penguins notebook: Former Pens coach Therrien given tribute

| Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 8:30 p.m.

During his second stint with the Montreal Canadians, coach Michel Therrien consistently has praised the Penguins and shown appreciation for the opportunity he received by being named head coach in 2005.

The Penguins showed mutual appreciation Tuesday night.

Therrien, coaching in Pittsburgh for the first time since being fired in 2009, watched a video tribute produced by the Penguins in the first period.

While the crowd offered polite applause, Therrien looked on and methodically nodded his head.

The video showed a brief excerpt from Therrien's infamous 2006 rant following a Penguins 3-1 loss to Edmonton.

“I'm excited,” Therrien said before the game. “It's fun to be back.”

Therrien spoke glowingly of Western Pennsylvania and said he and his family enjoyed nothing but positive memories of his time behind the Penguins' bench. He even offered praise for Mellon Arena, noting that while Consol Energy Center was “first class,” he had a special place in his heart for the team's former home.

Therrien, who quickly has restored Montreal to the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference after the franchise finished last in the East last season, has a reputation for turning around bad teams.

He suggested the turnaround in Montreal was much easier than what he managed with the Penguins.

“Montreal was different than when I came to Pittsburgh,” he said. “There are a lot of different things. It's a different market. I had to change the culture a lot. That team was in last place for four straight years. There was a reason why.”

• Penguins coachDan Bylsma reiterated that center Evgeni Malkin (right shoulder) has not sustained a setback and could return to the lineup this week. Bylsma referred to Malkin as day to day. Malkin, who took part in Tuesday's morning skate, injured his right shoulder March 9 in Toronto.

• Center Joe Vitale and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo were healthy scratches. Defenseman Douglas Murray was also a scratch because he did not arrive in Pittsburgh until Tuesday evening. He is expected to practice Wednesday.

— Josh Yohe

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