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Pens Points: A Second Period to Forget

Bad second period costs Pens in 5-3 loss against Ducks. Murray leaves team after father’s death; out indefinitely. Tristan Jarry becomes latest rookie to benefit Penguins. Inability to replace offseason departures still affecting Pens past midpoint of the season.

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Pittsburgh Penguins v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Well past midnight back home in Pittsburgh, the Penguins saw their four game winning streak come to an end with a 5-3 loss to the Ducks to kick off their California road trip. An Evgeni Malkin goal gave the Pens a 1-0 at the first intermission but a nightmare second period saw the Ducks score four times to take a 4-1 lead. Two goals in the third period goals from Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel brought the Pens to within a goal but the Ducks hung on and put the game on ice with a last second empty netter.

Now that the win streak is gone it’s time for the Pens to start another and they get that opportunity tonight when they complete stage two of the California swing against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Another late puck drop scheduled for 10:00 PM and you can catch all the action on AT&T Sports Network.

Stay warm with your Thursday morning edition of Pens Points...

A sad update on the Matt Murray situation from the Penguins. After joining the team on the road trip to California, the team announced Murray has returned home to Canada following the death of his father, James. Murray will be out for an indefinite amount of time to be with his family. [Penguins]

Earlier in the day, the Penguins recalled forward Jean-Sebastian Dea from the AHL. With Casey DeSmith already up with the big club, Dea will take Murray’s roster spot while the goaltender is away from the team. [Trib Live]

One thing the Penguins have relied on during their recent run of success has been the stellar play of young guys coming up from the minors. This year is proving to be no different as the Pens get help throughout the lineup from the young guns and most importantly in net from Tristan Jarry. [NBC Sports]

Speed kills in the NHL and the Penguins have been one of the fastest teams in the league over the past two seasons and the results speak for themselves. After a rough start to the season where it looked like the Pens were playing in sand some nights, the players feel like they have their legs back. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Coming off their second straight Stanley Cup victory last offseason, the Penguins had to face a reality they mostly avoided after 2016. The departure of several key players to free agency that the team was never able to fully replace and it has affected their play to this point. [The Hockey Writers]

Even as one of the most consistent performers throughout his career, Phil Kessel still remains one of hockey’s most underappreciated and disrespected talents. Outside of Pittsburgh at least. [FanRag Sports]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Follow hockey long enough and you will quickly discover how fickle teams can be about injuries and how much information gets out to the public. This secrecy surrounding injuries may be doing unseen damage to injured players. [The Chicago Tribune]

The second half on the NHL season is upon us and for several faces around the hockey world that means their will be added pressure to perform and help push their teams to a playoff berth. [USA Today]