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Pens Points: Windy City Meets Steel City

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Pens host Blackhawks on “Rivalry Night” looking to gain ground in Metro race. Sheary avoids injury bug. Playoff matchups taking shape across the NHL. Murray/Fleury duo working out like a charm for Rutherford.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Any hope the Penguins have of catching the Capitals may be decided tonight when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at PPG Paints Arena. Coming off three consecutive losses, the Pens will need to right the ship quickly if they want to have a shot at winning the division (or at the very least staying up on the Blue Jackets for home ice in round 1). Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 PM and will be broadcast nationally on NBCSN as a part of the network “Rivalry Night” coverage.

Hey! Remember when the Pens swiped Jarome Iginla away from the Boston Bruins at the stroke of midnight in 2013? That was pretty cool, bolstering the lineup with a sure fire Hall of Famer is never a bad thing, right? It sure would be hard to screw something like that up. [Pensburgh]

When Conor Sheary went down with an injury Sunday against the Flyers, head coach Mike Sullivan was adamant Sheary did not get hurt blocking a shot. Why was Sullivan so vocal about how the injury occurred? Maybe because shot blocking is a major part of his game plan. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Luckily, whatever ailed Sheary does not appear to be serious as he was a full participant in practice on Tuesday working alongside Sidney Crosby on the top line. [Trib Live]

One lucky Pens fan will be awarded season tickets for 20 seasons this coming Sunday when the team announces the winner of its “Golden Ticket” contest. [Penguins]

With every passing game the playoff picture becomes more and more clear. As match-ups begin to take shape, it sure looks like the Pens are setting up for a banger of a first round series. [ESPN]

After a season shrouded in rumors about how the Pens goalie situation would play out, general manager Jim Rutherford decided to keep both Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury. Rutherford couldn’t be happier without his strategy worked out. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

As the Pens come down the home stretch of the regular season and prepare for the playoffs, Mike Sullivan is not letting up on coaching his players. [Trib Live]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Scoring his 34th goal of the season Tuesday night rookie Auston Matthews became the highest scoring rookie in Toronto Maple Leafs history. [Puck Daddy]

The expansion draft is quickly approaching so keep any eye out for mock drafts to being spilling out. [ESPN]