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Pens Points: Revenge of the (Florida) Panther

Your daily look at Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL news and stories.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning one and all,

The Pens have two more games, both in Florida, before Christmas break. Let's catch up on all the news.

The Pens get to face those pesky Panthers one more time, after defeating them on the scoreboard and punches thrown. Here is your preview in numbers. Would be nice to fill that arena for once with black and gold. []

If you saw Saturday's game and didn't know much about the two teams, you'd be thinking this is some kind of blood rivalry, which it isn't. Or is it? Our sister blog dedicated to the Panthers has a nice article on the history of this matchup. [Litterbox Cats]

The future is now, as Derrick Pouliot arrived in the middle of the night and saw first game action and first goal on his first shot. This is a very encouraging debut, to say the least. [PPG]

Steve Downie and Bobby Farnham are leading the way for the newly feisty flightless birds. As always this is a double-edge sword, and the physicality needs to be channeled into productive play, which so far it has been. Let's all hope it doesn't derail from here. [Trib]

The Panthers are playing reasonably well this season despite everything, and one of the most pleasant surprises for me was center Nick Bjugstad. He has ties to Pittsburgh and credits his development to a couple of former Pens. [PPG]

His monkey-off-my-back goal on Saturday made Sidney Crosby the 150th all-time scorer in the NHL. Movin' on up. [Empty Netters]

The Pens have already dug deep into the minor league well to supplement players lost to injury. Who else is out there and who should we be paying attention to? [Trib - Bombulie]

Josh Yohe caught up with former Penguins Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, and Todd Reirden leading up to their first game against the Pens since moving to Washington. Niskanen didn't mince any words, and his assessment was correct. Good for him. [Trib]

The World Juniors are just a few days away. The Pens only have one prospect competing, but he is a good one. Forward and first-round pick Kasperi Kapanen will be playing for Finland and we'll all be watching. [PPG]

Steve Mason is dealing with a back injury so the Flyers thrust 33-year-old Rob Zepp into action, and somehow pulled a 4-3 OT win to make him the oldest goalie to earn a win in his NHL debut in decades. [Sportsnet]

Finally, if you still don't have the right gift for that hockey fan in your life, this list is for you (except by now you'll have to pony up for 2-day shipping). Don't buy the Oyo figur(in)es - they are microscopic. The Stanley Cup popcorn maker is cute but the popcorn functionality is not. Get that goalie mask beverage dispenser instead. [Hockey By Design]