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Pens Points Monday: Vanek Traded to Islanders for Moulson, Picks

Pens play Carolina tonight. Key will be to jump them early. Must watch Sid's minutes. Islanders trade Moulson and picks to Buffalo for Austrian winger Thomas Vanek.

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Justin K. Aller

Good morning one and all,

I'm sure the Pens are glad to leave last week in the past and hopefully start to turn the ship around this week. Bylsma will have to do a more careful job of watching Crosby and Malkin's minutes, especially Sid's. One aspect of the Pens' game that is still solid so far is the faceoffs, but with increased minutes percentages for 87 and 71 are dropping. Sid won 40% while Geno was a dismal 25% in the Leafs game.

One Pen who really needs to get it going on the offensive side is Brandon Sutter, and when better than facing his former team tonight. Regardless of the low offensive output, Sutter is pulling his weight on the defensive end. Here's your scouting report for the Carolina game tonight. The Canes have been struggling early in games, so it would be good to get a jump on them quickly.

Big trade news broke Sunday evening, when the Buffalo Sabres finally pulled the trigger on the full-blown rebuild and sent Thomas Vanek to the Islanders for Matt Moulson and a first-round pick in 2014 and second-round pick in 2015. That's a lot of assets for 70 games of Thomas Vanek, with most everyone assuming he will sign with Minnesota when he becomes a free agent next summer. Elliotte Friedman on why Garth Snow thought Vanek was a good gamble.

With Taylor Hall injured, Nail Yakupov has an opportunity to show what he's made of. Will he make the most of it? In last night's game against the Kings, he wasted little time netting a power-play goal on a beautiful wrister early in the 2nd period.

While we're on the Oilers, Richard Bachman made most of his opportunity to start last night. He was under siege, stopping 47 of 48 shots to take the Oilers to a shootout, which they ended up losing, but still that was a phenomenal performance and may have earned him a look to start in net.

Hopefully the Pens end their lousy streak tonight. Let's get it together, guys. You can do it.