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Pens Points: Trying to Stay Hot

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Pens welcome Rangers to Pittsburgh looking to build on win streak. Jarry ready to step up in absence of Murray. Crosby coming to life after rough start. Bottom six finally scoring and led by Rust. Division opponents on deck in December.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a weekend sweep over the lowly Buffalo Sabres, the Penguins will look to extend their season best win streak to five straight later tonight when they host the New York Rangers at PPG Paints Arena. This will be the second meeting between the division rivals this season, with the Pens winning the first showdown 5-4 in overtime back in October.

This will be a nationally televised game so puck drop is set for 7:30 PM and will be broadcast nationally on NBCSN and locally on AT&T Sports Network.

Here now, your daily edition of Pens Points...

With Matt Murray on the shelf for an unspecified amount of time, it will be up to Tristan Jarry to hold the fort in between the posts for the Penguins. Through his first two games as the “number one” guy, Jarry has shown he is ready to take on anyone. [Trib Live]

It was a rough start to the season for Sidney Crosby but the underlying numbers remained positive for the Pens’ superstar. Now that the Stanley Cup hangover appears to have worn off, Crosby looks like his normal self and is flying up the scoring charts thanks to his hot play. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Riley Sheahan is approaching his 20th game with the Penguins since coming over from the Red Wings in October. In that time, Sheahan has proved to be an asset for the team though he may be better suited for a fourth line role going forward. [Hockeybuzz]

With the Penguins’ bottom six still struggling to score at times there is much anticipation about the arrival of Daniel Sprong from the AHL. Sprong is putting together a strong season down on the farm but general manager Jim Rutherford is in no rush to hurry along the prospect’s development. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Recently, the bottom six has woken up and playing its best hockey of the season and that has translated into a four game win streak. One of the leaders of their resurgence has been Bryan Rust who is pouring them in even without the mustache. [Trib Live]

A little over two months into the season and the Penguins have played 28 games, tied for the second most in the league. Of those 28 games played, only four(!) have come against Metropolitan division opponents. They will surpass that total alone in December with five games against the division. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

News and notes from around the NHL...

There will be no NHL player at the Winter Olympics in February but that doesn’t mean we cannot speculate on what the rosters may have looked like. Safe to say, this could have been the strongest USA squad in decades. [USA Today]

Former Penguins’ forward Scott Wilson is on the move again, this time to Buffalo in exchange for a fifth round pick. Wilson was traded earlier this season by the Pens in exchange for Riley Sheahan. [Winging it in Motown]

A new name may have entered the NHL coaching carousel over the weekend. Former NHL bench boss Mike Keenan was fired as head coach of the Kunlan Red Star of the KHL on Sunday. [Sporting News]

Yesterday afternoon, the city of Seattle announced a $600 million plan to renovate KeyArena in downtown Seattle. Later in the evening a report broke that with the plan in place, the NHL will be announcing a new franchise in Seattle in the coming months. [Seattle Times]