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Pens Points: Heartbreaker in Washington

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Pens play their best game in two weeks but still fall to Capitals on last minute goal. Put the loss behind you with a new edition of Pens Points.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Attempting to end a four game losing streak, the Penguins played their best 60 minutes of hockey on Wednesday night against the Capitals and still came up on the short end of the stick. The Penguins dominated the game at even strength but their only goal came via the power play off the stick of Sidney Crosby. Washington evened the score with a power play goal of their own in the second period from Alex Ovechkin, then found a winner courtesy of twice resurrected T.J. Oshie with just over a minute left. [Pensburgh Recap]

With the loss, the Penguins skid hits five games with their next shot at a win coming on Saturday when the Arizona Coyotes come to town.

Shake off last night’s loss with this morning’s Pens Points...

Through a month of this new NHL season the Penguins bottom six has been a complete mess for the most part. Knowing they will need their depth to come through if they are to get back on track, the Pens will enlist some young reserves from down on the farm in hopes of jumpstarting the bottom six. [Trib Live]

At the end of last season, Garrett Wilson was informed by the Penguins that they wanted him to replace the outgoing Tom Kostopoulos as captain of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL. Scoring at a point per game pace with the Baby Pens, Wilson is hoping to make the most of his opportunity with the big club. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Another call-up from the AHL alongside Wilson was Zach Aston-Reese, who is making his return to the NHL after suffering a broken jaw courtesy of Tom Wilson during last season’s playoff matchup against the Capitals. Back where he wants to be, Aston-Reese is loaded with confidence following a strong start with WBS. [Last Word on Hockey]

The Penguins and Capitals may be fierce rivals on the ice, but that doesn’t mean they cannot come together off the ice. Prior to last night’s contest, the Capitals announced they will be donating their half of the game’s 50/50 proceeds to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh to support the victims of the Tree of Life shooting. [NBCSports]

While the Penguins have been a sieve defensively throughout this four game slide, they haven’t exactly been world beaters on the offensive end either. Scoring just six goals in their last four games, the Pens will be hoping to light the lamp a little more going forward. [Fox Sports]

All in all, the result of this evening’s game will mean little in the long haul since the calendar only recently hit November. Regardless of what is on the line, Penguins v. Capitals is always a fun time for everyone involved. [Washington Post]

One person who is especially unhappy with the Penguins early season play is general manager Jim Rutherford. Speaking to the media in Washington, Rutherford railed against his team’s performance, taking almost everyone to task while threatening roster movies if play does not improve. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

During the third period of last night’s action, Evgeni Malkin found himself ejected from the game for a high hit on Capitals winger T.J. Oshie. Based on the video, it is clear Malkin made direct contact with the head but the intent is what remains in question. Also up in the air, will Malkin receive any supplemental discipline for the hit? [Pensburgh]

News and notes from around the NHL...

It’s only November but it is never too early to look forward to next summer’s NHL Draft. Every month a new prospect rankings will be unveiled and November features a familiar name at the top of the list. American youngster Jack Hughes remains the consensus top overall prospect for the 2019 NHL Draft. [Sportsnet]

When you can’t afford to get behind the eight ball in the NHL playoff picture, any sign of long term struggle can lead a team to making a change behind the bench. The Kings and Blackhawks have already fired their respective head coaches but there are plenty of others feeling the heat already this season. [Sportsnet]

Joel Quenneville was relieved of his head coaching duties on Tuesday by the Chicago Blackhawks but the three-time Stanley Cup champion likely won’t have a difficult time finding his next gig. [Chicago Tribune]

Off the ice, hockey players maintain normal(ish) everyday lives just like the rest of us do. At the end of a long day, players like to curl up on the couch, flip on Netflix, and binge out on their favorite shows. [Sports Daily]