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Pens Points: New Year, New Team?

Pens enter 2018 fighting for their playoff lives and still plenty of questions to answer. Simon returns to NHL after short stint back in minors. Time left but Penguins do not look like playoff team. Sprong makes impact on third line in season debut.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Detroit Red Wings USA Today

Struggling rivals prepare to square off later this evening when the Penguins head across the state to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast nationally on NBCSN.

Now, your first edition of Pens Points for the new year...

Coming off a rough loss to end the year, the Pens made a few rosters moves in hopes of finding the right chemistry to make a playoff push. Dominik Simon rejoins the team from the AHL just a few days after begin sent down. [Penguins]

After a hot start in the AHL, Daniel Sprong finally earned a call up to the NHL and had a positive impact in his first game of the season even if he didn’t find the stat sheet. His biggest contribution was on the third line that is in much need of a boost after a struggling to this point. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

If you have watched the Penguins at all this season you have seen how much they have struggled for any consistency in their play. Nearly at the midway point of the season, the Penguins sure don’t look like a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup or perhaps even make the playoffs. [Puck Prose]

With a less than ideal end to 2017, there are plenty questions surrounding the Pens that need answered and quickly. From a lack of scoring to Kris Letang’s subpar play, the Penguins have plenty of work ahead of them. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Sunday night’s game featured a meeting of former teams for Riley Sheahan and Trevor Daley. Sheahan joined the Penguins from the Red Wings in an early season trade and Daley joined the Red Wings as a free agent coming off back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pens. [Penguins]

With the calendars flipping to a new year, it is officially trade season for the NHL and more specifically Penguins’ general manager Jim Rutherford who will need some of that magic from past years to help fix what woes this season’s edition of his team. [Trib Live]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Only one game on the NHL slate for New Year’s Day, the Winter Classic at Citi Field between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres. The “road” team Rangers pulled out a victory in overtime after the Sabres rallied from an early two goal deficit to snatch a point. [NBC Sports]

During the second intermission of yesterday’s contest, Team USA released the rosters for the Men’s and Women’s Olympics teams along with the roster for the Paralympic sled hockey team: