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Thursday Pens Points: Detroit Gameday

Pens meet Wings in the Crutch Bowl. Blackhawks blank Blues, but lose Kane. Parise returns to New Jersey. Stammer is back to his hat-tricking ways. Connor McDavid leads the Otters to the OHL playoffs.

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Yesterday the Pens had a day off (very much needed by the tired Olympians), that included a trip to Detroint, where they meet the Red Wings in the battle of the wounded. Pens lost nearly 420 man-games to injury this season, compared to the Red Wings who lost well over 300.

The difference between the two teams is that the Pens are 15 points ahead of the next team in their division, while the Wings - gasp - are at risk for missing the postseason for the first time since Michael Bolton ruled the charts.

As the Pens look forward to the playoffs, some people worry about seeding, others think it's more about match-ups rather than seeding.

Chicago Blackhawks wasted no time letting the St. Louis Blues know they're still around, shutting them out to the tune of 4-0. In the process they lost Patrick Kane to a leg injury for approximately 3 weeks.

Steven Stamkos had a natural hat trick in Tampa's 5-3 win over the Maple Leafs. Also, Killorn slammed Ranger into the boards (putting him on a stretcher) with a perfectly avoidable, reckless hit. Of course nobody will look into it.

Zach Parise finally returns to New Jersey (because last season didn't include West vs. East matchups). He is not expecting a warm welcome.

The Buffalo Sabres became the first team to be officially eliminated from the playoffs (I know, how shocking). Things were really, really bad.

Rich Peverley underwent a successful heart procedure at the Cleveland Clinic, but his hockey future remains unknown.

Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters start their playoff campaign with big dreams and lofty expectations. The OHL team has also totally revitalized Erie in the process.