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Pens Points: Statement Makers

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Penguins drub visiting Blue Jackets 4-1 in potential playoff preview, sending a message they are ready to defend their crown. Dumoulin ends long goal drought in win. Pens getting healthy at the right time. Crosby mum on NHL Olympics decision.

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

Playing their final home game of the 2016-2017 season on Tuesday night, the Penguins made a strong statement with 4-1 drubbing of the Columbus Blue Jackets at PPG Paints Arena. In what will likely be a first round match-up between the two sides come next week, the Pens sent a message that they have every intention of defending their title regardless of who stands in there way. [Pensburgh]

Last week I included an article talking about Brian Dumoulin’s goal drought that had reached 150 games. All that changed last night when Dumo bounced one in off the knee of Cam Atkinson for his first of the season, becoming the final “everyday” player to score this season. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Some quick site news for everyone. Over the weekend, the team here at Pensburgh added some depth to the roster just in time for the playoffs. We are glad to welcome aboard our newest writer Kaitlyn Dividock to the Pensburgh staff. [Pensburgh]

Even though his play has declined in recent years, the absence of Chris Kunitz will leave a big hole in the Pens lineup as they enter the playoffs. As has been the case all season, someone will be called upon to step up and fill No. 14’s skates. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

It feels like every passing day brings more bad news on the injury front for the Penguins. Fortunately, some of those banged up players are beginning to heal and look to be on track for a return to the lineup in time for the playoffs. [WPXI]

There is almost no doubt that last night’s game will be a preview of a first round match-up between the Pens and Blue Jackets. Still though, a week away from the playoffs there are still matters to be settled. [The Hockey Writers]

A day after the NHL announced that it will not be sending its players to next year’s Olympics, several Penguins’ players gave their input on the decision. Captain Sidney Crosby was non-committal when asked if he would take part regardless of the NHL’s stance. [Trib Live]

Prior to last night’s home finale the Pens announced the winners of their annual team awards. Crosby was named team MVP while goaltender Matt Murray took home the honors for top rookie. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL...

While it is easy to place the blame on the NHL for not sending its players to the Olympics next year, some of the blame should also fall on the IOC. [Puck Daddy]

For Capitals’ goal scorer Alex Ovechkin it does not matter what the NHL says about player participation, he plans on playing for Team Russia in South Korea. [ESPN]

After infamously firing head coach Gerard Gallant and replacing him with Tom Rowe earlier this season, the Florida Panthers will move on from Rowe after the season. [Miami Herald]