The Justin Schultz experiment begins for the Penguins

AP
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With a crucial stretch coming up, the Pittsburgh Penguins will finally see the debut of offensive defenseman Justin Schultz, as the team confirmed on Sunday.

Schultz replaces Derrick Pouliot in the Penguins’ lineup. If he also slides into Pouliot’s third pairing spot, he’d be lining up with Ian Cole (who may help to serve as a safety valve in Schultz is deployed as a true weapon from the blueline).

It should be a fascinating development to watch. The Penguins are trying to restore his confidence with Sergei Gonchar taking Schultz under his wing, but some may grumble at the asking price of a third-round pick if he stumbles.

In other Penguins lineup news, Carl Hagelin is being held out of today’s game against the New Jersey Devils for “precautionary reasons.”

Hagelin’s injury likely necessitated a call-up for Conor Sheary.

Finally, the Penguins are rolling with intriguing goalie prospect Matt Murray in net today. So, yeah, plenty of new/relatively new faces to watch for Pittsburgh, a team that cannot rest on its laurels.