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Penguins acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc

by Wes Crosby

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired forward Maxim Lapierre from the St. Louis Blues for forward Marcel Goc, the teams announced Tuesday.

Lapierre, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound center, had two goals and nine points in 45 games with St. Louis this season. He has 65 goals and 137 points in 579 games of his 10-year NHL career.

The 29-year-old could add a bit of size and grit to a Penguins lineup that general manager Jim Rutherford said could benefit from those assets the rest of the season.

"He’s a big guy. He plays with energy," Rutherford said. "He plays with an edge at times. And he’s averaged roughly nine, 10 goals a year, so he’s capable of scoring a little bit. So I think this is a good addition for us … It certainly seems we’re getting into more physical games than I would’ve expected, so he will help that group of guys that we already have. The [Steve] Downies, the [Zach] Sills and [Robert] Bortuzzos and those guys."

Lapierre has seven goals and 15 points in 75 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He scored three goals in each postseason while with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010 and Vancouver Canucks in 2011.

"That factored in," Rutherford said. "He’s had a couple of real good runs in the playoffs and he’s a hard guy to play against, especially when you get into those playoff series."

Goc, 31, was a key member of Pittsburgh’s penalty kill but has not produced the level of offense the Penguins hoped he would bring to their bottom six when he was acquired from the Florida Panthers in March of last season. He scored two goals and seven points in 54 games with Pittsburgh.

"It’s never easy when you lose a player, especially like him," Rutherford said. "He’s such a good guy. But Lapierre also kills penalties, so it’s not like we’re moving out a guy that does something for us and not getting us back."

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