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Penguins and defenceman Matt Niskanen agree to two-year, $4.6 million deal

Pittsburgh Penguins' Pascal Dupuis, center, celebrates his second-period goal with teammates Steve Sullivan, left, and Matt Niskanen (2) during an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The Pittsburgh Penguins and defenceman Niskanen have agreed to $4.6-million, two-year deal that will keep him with the team until 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Gene J. Puskar

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Pittsburgh Penguins' Pascal Dupuis, center, celebrates his second-period goal with teammates Steve Sullivan, left, and Matt Niskanen (2) during an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The Pittsburgh Penguins and defenceman Niskanen have agreed to $4.6-million, two-year deal that will keep him with the team until 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Gene J. Puskar

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Pittsburgh Penguins and defenceman Matt Niskanen have agreed to $4.6-million, two-year deal that will keep him with the team until 2014.

The 25-year-old Niskanen had four goals and 17 assists in 75 games last season with Pittsburgh and had a plus-nine rating. Niskanen joined the Penguins in 2010-11 in the same trade that brought forward James Neal to the team.

Niskanen has proven to be a deft penalty killer for the Penguins and is considered a key part of the blue line after the team shipped Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix last week.

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