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Friday Pens Points: Too cold to be bold (Rangers gameday)

A look at links around the Pittsburgh Penguins, including Evgeni Malkin injury update and who the Pens may target in a trade to replace Pascal Dupuis.

Al Bello

The injury parade rolls on, Chris Conner will be out 6-8 weeks after undergoing hand surgery. [Post-Gazette]

Evgeni Malkin is still reporting a little pain after a hard skate, but will take the pre-game warmups and decide whether or not he can play tonight. [Tribune Review]

Meet Joe Vitale: 1st liner, 3rd liner, 4th liner and team DJ. He plays Zeppelin, so that's cool in my book. [PG]

And a nice look at the long road it took Vitale to make it to the NHL. []

Todd Reirden talks about the different approach in coaching younger defensemen. [PG - Rorabaugh]

Kris Letang has had to battle elbow and knee injuries this season. [Trib]

Paul Martin's timetable for return from fractured tibia looks to be second half of January. [PG - Molinari]

A deeper look at the Penguins special teams. [Faceoff Factor]

5 Penguins predictions for 2014. I'm gonna say #3 (Crosby wins gold) and #5 (Pens vs. Bruins ECF) are definitely the most likely. [The Pensblog]

A quote here about the Pascal Dupuis injury: "Anyway, if the Penguins want a more established scorer in that spot, then pending free agents like Ales Hemsky, Mike Cammalleri or Matt Moulson could have some appeal." [TSN - Cullen]

(From the note above, Ales Hemsky is such a perimeter player and basically the polar opposite of a north-south, physical, aggressive winger that Shero and Bylsma love so much, I couldn't really see them looking towards him....Cammalleri would be intriguing, but he also has a $6 million salary that may not jive with the Pens cap situation and Calgary might have a new GM soon and who knows what the priority will be there and what kind of return they might want...Moulson could be the best option of the bunch, manageable salary on a bottom team and he has a history of playing well with a star center.)

20 shocks, stars and trends of the fantasy hockey year. [Puck Daddy]

Analyzing the USA hockey team. [SB Nation]

An interesting look about how stat-based assessments and predictions have actually panned out. [SB Nation]

Around the NHL: Jeff Skinner's hat-trick and OT winnerKyle Okposo nets OT winner vs. Blackhawks (crowd chants USA-USA), Varlamov stones Downie on a breakaway as Avs halt Flyers.

Stay warm out there everybody. Go Pens.