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Pens Points: Back Home

Pens return home to face off with Blue Jackets for first time this season. Crosby knows big games are coming for Pens. Players bring smiles to kids at Children’s Hospital. Rutherford not done dealing but must wait for roster freeze to lift. Oleksiak addition will force an odd man out situation. Letang’s big announcement.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Back home following an underwhelming trip out west, the Penguins look to get back on track before the Christmas break when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening at PPG Paints Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.

Before the game tonight, catch up on all the news with today’s Pens Points...

Everybody knows about the numerous charitable endeavors the Penguins undertake every year and the community is grateful for all the work they do. On Wednesday, the players headed to Children’s Hospital to spread some Christmas cheer to kids who needed it most. [Penguins]

Tuesday featured a flurry a trades from the Penguins before the roster freeze went into effect for the Christmas holiday. When the freeze lifts next week, here are some names Jim Rutherford could target to help improve the team. [NBC Sports]

Newly acquired defenseman Jamie Oleksiak has taken part in practice with his new team but there are still questions to be answered surrounding his arrival. Most importantly, who is now the odd man out on the blue line? [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

There is still plenty of time for the Penguins to turn their season around and put themselves back in the Stanley Cup conversation but for that to happen, there are several areas they need to address and quickly. [Trib Live]

Two games remain before the Christmas break and five in total in the month of December. With their current playoff standing, Sidney Crosby knows the upcoming schedule is loaded with crucial games the Pens must take points from to set themselves up for a second half push. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

For a second time this season, Crosby has found himself mired in a scoring drought. If the Penguins are going to play their way back into contention, a lot will rest on the shoulders of the captain. [Pensburgh]

Kris Letang and his wife Catherine announced on Instagram that the couple are expecting their second child, a girl, in 2018. Their son Alex was born in 2012 and has been ever present during Stanley Cup celebrations the last two seasons. [KDKA]

A part of the Pens first trade on Tuesday, goaltender Michael Leighton arrived in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday and participated in his first practice with the club. From the sounds of it, Leighton is happy to be with his new team. [WNEP]

News and notes from around the NHL...

The Vegas Golden Knights have found unprecedented success as an expansion team. Their success at home is more than most established NHL teams could ever hope for. That begs the question, is calling Sin City home the biggest advantage for the Golden Knights? [ESPN]

After a disastrous stint in Brooklyn, the New York Islanders have won the rights to build a new stadium on Long Island on the grounds of the famous Belmont Park horse racing track. [CBC]