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Pens Points: Another Divisional Showdown

Pens welcome Islanders to Pittsburgh for divisional showdown. Holiday traditions good and bad are carried on. Kessel could make All-Star Game a must watch for fans. Pittsburgh the crown jewel of the Pennsylvania sporting world.

NHL: New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time this season, the Penguins will play consecutive games against Metropolitan division opponents. Looking to rebound from a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night, the Pens welcome the New York Islanders to Pittsburgh later this evening. Game time is set for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.

Here is your daily edition of Pens Points for your reading pleasure...

One of the great holiday traditions for the Penguins each year is the holiday basket auction to supports local children's charities. Each year the wives and girlfriends of the Penguins’ players create a themed basket that will be auctioned off during the month of December. [Penguins]

Another less-great Penguins tradition is continued injuries to defenseman. The latest victim to the injury bug is Justin Schultz, who left Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers and did not return. Schultz did not skate with the team on Wednesday and it unlikely to play tonight against the Islanders. [Trib Live]

With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the roster, the Penguins have two perennial all stars suiting up night in and night out. While it’s fun to see those two play with the NHL’s best, sending Phil Kessel to the All-Star game in Tampa Bay would make appointment viewing for fans. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

There is a lot of debate surrounding who owns the state of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia? From a sports perspective it’s pretty easy to see the city of Pittsburgh is the sports capital of the state thanks to all the hardware the teams have amassed in the last half a century. []

Some new penguins are about to make their debut any day now but you won’t be seeing them on the ice at PPG Paints Arena. The National Aviary announced they expecting the birth of new penguin chicks in the very near future. No word if they will adopt their names from their hockey playing brethren. [KDKA]

Penguins legend Eddie Johnston discussed the NHL’s “Greatest Moment” bracket and the two finalist, Mario Lemieux’s five goals five different ways and Bobby Orr’s overtime winner to clinch the Stanley Cup in 1970. Playing a part in each moment, Johnston thinks either is a deserving winner. [Penguins]

Still moving at a turtle’s pace, the Penguins have cleared several key obstacles in their plan to develop the former Civic Arena site as the city has granted them more time to settle on a final plan. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Rangers’ forward Michael Grabner is on pace to shatter a very obscure NHL record currently held by Hall of Famer Pavel Bure. [NBC Sports]

Even though the NHL will not be sending its players to the Olympics in February, there are still plenty of reasons to tune in to the Men’s tournament despite the lack of familiar faces. [ESPN]