1...2...3...4 wins in a row for the Penguins after a dominating 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. It was a quick start for the Pens as Sidney Crosby, Conor Sheary, and Tom Kuhnhackl all scored within the opening 7:34 of play to race out to a 3-0 lead. Jaromir Jagr pulled one back for the Panthers in the second period but the Pens put the game on ice in the third with goals by Matt Cullen and Carl Hagelin. Matt Murray made his first start since November 30th and was nearly flawless. Murray nearly capped off his stellar night with a goal into an empty net but the puck ran of gas and Hagelin helped it the rest of the way. [Pensburgh]
The Pens will wrap up their short Florida road trip on Saturday evening against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game will be the first meeting between the two sides since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final in May. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM and the game will be broadcast on ROOT Sports.
Stop over at Raw Charge to get caught up on the Lightning before Saturday’s contest.
After a rocky and inconsistent start to the season, the Pens defense is beginning to figure things out as we head toward Christmas. One of the biggest surprises has been the stellar play of Ian Cole and Justin Schultz as the third pairing. [Trib Live]
There is no shortage of fire power up and down the Penguins’ lineup and the big three of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel are all playing at a historical pace to this point in the season. [Trib Live]
The Pens can beat opponents in so many different ways but when they get in to a track meet they can downright unstoppable. That doesn’t mean head coach wants them to rely on that method every night. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Kris Letang sat down for an interesting Q&A with Sean Leahy of Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy Blog. [Yahoo! Sports]
News and note from around the NHL...
The NHL Board of Governors are scheduled to meet this weekend in Florida. One of the major topics will be the NHL’s participation in the 2018 Olympics. [Yahoo! Sports]
If the NHL decides against sending players to South Korea, what could the Olympic teams look like without them? [ESPN]
Less than 3 weeks after announcing their logo and nickname, the Vegas Golden Knights have been denied a trademark for the nickname. [ABC]