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Pens Points: Back to the Road

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Pens head back on the road to complete home-and-home series with the Islanders tonight in Brooklyn. Get ready for the game by catching up on the latest news in today’s Pens Points.

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

Tuesday’s return home was very brief as the Penguins head back on the road to complete a home-and-home set with the New York Islanders this evening in Brooklyn. We can only hope the Pens recover and bounce back from the loss on Tuesday night to get back in the win column before Toronto comes to town over the weekend.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.

Get ready for tonight’s contest with this morning’s Pens Points...

Tuesday night’s game was an emotional affair as the Pens honored the victims of the Tree of Life shooting. For the entire Pittsburgh community, it was a collective effort to remember those who lost their lives on Saturday, and a thank you to those who risked their lives trying to stop attack. [Penguins]

While the Penguins were holding a ceremony of their own, mourning took place across the league as several teams held gestures to honor the fallen. The Tampa Bay Lightning held a moment of silence while Islanders head coach Barry Trotz praised the Penguins efforts in helping the city heal. [Trib Live]

An 11 second moment of silence was used to honor the 11 individual who lost their lives inside Tree of Life Synagogue. To honor the emergency responders who went in after the shooter, two officers were invited to drop the ceremonial face-off and overcome with emotion as the crowd erupted into a standing ovation. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

During the game the Penguins held a collection with all proceeds being donated to the victims of Saturday’s tragedy. On Wednesday, the Penguins revealed that over $200,000 has been collected with donations and jersey auction still ongoing.

Without Kris Letang on the ice against the Islanders, some familiar issues bubbled to the surface and it cost the Pens a shot at two points. Though he is often much maligned by some fans, Tuesday night made clear just how important Letang is to this team. [Pensburgh]

There is some good news on the Letang front however as it looks like the star defenseman will not be out of the lineup for long. Letang skated with his teammates on Wednesday and said he felt good following practice. His availability for tonight’s game in New York still remains uncertain. [Penguins]

With Letang out of the lineup, the Penguins called upon Juuso Riikola to fill his spot in the lineup. Riikola saw time on the top power play unit where Letang normally would play and overall Mike Sullivan thought his defense put in a good effort. [Trib Live]

Tom Kuhnhackl returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since joining the Islanders over the summer and he was given a very nice tribute video celebrating his time as a Penguin. Kuhnhackl’s last moment in a Penguins uniform was him ringing a shot off the post in overtime of Game 6 against the Capitals, something Barry Trotz remembers vividly. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

When you’re an elite professional athlete you are going to have sponsorship deals from a variety of companies. In hockey, one of the biggest apparel companies is CCM who sponsor both Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury. Given their connection as former teammates, CCM has produced two very good commercials starring the pair. [Pensburgh]

News and notes from around the NHL...

For whatever reason, NHL players go all out for Halloween and this year was no different. Players from around the league stepped up their costume game in a big way this season and there are pictures to prove it. [ESPN]

With nationwide marijuana legalization taking effect in Canada earlier this month and several American states getting on board as well, there is an opportunity for the NHL to be a leader on pot policy in sports. [Toronto Star]

In an effort to draw more fans from across the pond, the NHL has changed the start times of nearly 50 games to an afternoon puck drop instead of evening. All of the games are weekend games and the NHL hopes the time change will help draw more European fans to watch. [Awful Announcing]