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Pens Points: Off on the Right Foot

Pens comeback to defeat Blue Jackets (and replay) in shootout for much needed win. Letang day-to-day with lower body injury. Cole hears the trade rumors. Calm Sullivan will help Pens in playoff fight. Our best Penguins’ moments of 2017.

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NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off the Christmas break, the Penguins welcomed the Columbus Blue Jackets back to PPG Paints Arena where the two division rivals squared off just six days ago. Following the script from the game, the Pens knocked off the Blue Jackets in a shootout by a score of 5-4 for a much needed win and two points in the standings. The Pens seemed to have won the game in overtime but the goal was waved off after replay officials determined Brian Dumoulin interfered with Sergei Bobrovsky before Sidney Crosby scored. In the shootout, Evgeni Malkin and Crosby both scored on their attempts and Matt Murray denied both Blue Jacket’s shots to give the Pens the win. [Pensburgh]

Now presenting, your Thursday morning edition of Pens Points...

Prior to the Christmas break, trade rumors began to swirl regarding defenseman Kris Letang. Those rumors will only swell now that it has been announced Letang will miss some time with a lower body injury though this does not seem to be a sign the Penguins have any plan to move Letang. [Trib Live]

Another defenseman potentially on the trade block is Ian Cole and for a while it looked like it was inevitable that Cole was going to be moved out of town. While he continues to play, Cole hears the rumors and admits he doesn’t like hearing them. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

During a morning skate interview, Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella spoke about the Penguins/Blue Jackets rivalry and said what many of us have known for years, he isn’t a fan of the Penguins franchise. [Columbus Dispatch]

With a fight for a playoff spot facing the Pens as the calendar prepares to hit 2018, there is one big advantage the team holds over all the others, the steady hand of head coach Mike Sullivan behind the bench who has proven he knows how to get the most out of his team at the most important time. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

To celebrate another great year of Penguins history, us here at Pensburgh are giving you our five favorite moments from 2017. Hooks got us started off yesterday with his five. Stay tuned for more of our favorites coming your way this week. [Pensburgh]

When the Penguins and Blue Jackets met less than a week ago, the Penguin caught the Blue Jackets off guard with their style of play. Instead of Columbus being the ones to initiate the physical play, it was the Pens who turned the tables on their rivals and took the initiative on the bruising style of play. [The Athletic]

News and notes from around the NHL...

After nearly half a season on the shelf, the Anaheim Ducks expect Ryan Kesler to return to the lineup this week following offseason hip surgery. The high scoring center will be a welcome return for the Ducks who will be in a battle for a playoff spot in the second half of the season. [Sporting News]

Doug Armstrong has built a consistent winner with the St. Louis Blues over the years and although it hasn’t ended with a Stanley Cup to this point, the veteran general manager was rewarded with a new four year deal on Wednesday. [ESPN]

Another team in a dog fight for a playoff spot are the Chicago Blackhawks and for the time being they will have to push forward without Stanley Cup winning goaltender Corey Crawford who was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday. [USA Today]