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Pens Points: Back in Action

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Penguins return to the ice following Christmas break looking to extend winning streak to four games against the Red Wings. Get back in the hockey mood with your first post-Christmas Pens Points.

NHL: Preseason-Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Three straight wins from the Penguins was a nice early Christmas present for the fans but now the holiday break is over and it’s back to work for our favorite flightless birds. Hopefully they can extend that pre-Christmas feeling they left us with when they take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight at PPG Paints Arena. A win would extend their winning streak to four games, equalling their longest of the season.

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

Get back into the hockey groove with this morning’s Pens Points...

For the most part, December has been very kind to the Penguins in terms of success. With three games still to play, the Penguins are carrying a 8-3-1 record through the month and may have saved their season in the process. [Pensburgh]

Through November, the Penguins were in a very precarious position in the standings. A strong three game stretch has the team back in a playoff spot for the time being but work remains as the playoff push is set to begin. Let’s hope the Penguins have the talent necessary throughout the roster to take another run at the Stanley Cup. [Trib Live]

Three straight wins heading into the Christmas break is just what the Penguins needed to get the ball rolling for the second half of the season. Another good sign for the Penguins is how they have looked on ice while winning those three games, showing signs of the team we thought they could be. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Given the talent on the Penguins roster, a 4-6 record in overtime games this season may come as bit of a surprise. With the like of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Kris Letang the NHL overtime and shootout setup should be a boon for the Penguins. They are hoping their overtime luck start to turn as we enter the second half of the season. [Trib Live]

With less than a week until the calendars hit 2019, the Penguins find themselves in the middle of the playoff hunt. Although they have been playing better of late, many questions still remain as the team prepares for the new year to arrive. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Recently on the Pensburgh Podcast we spoke with Andi Perelman and she gave us a behind the scenes look at the Penguins social media world. Last week, the Penguins were ranked first overall among NHL teams for social media value, with over 36.2 million engagements. [Penguins]

Mike Sullivan is arguably the greatest coach in Penguins franchise history, winning two Stanley Cup in less than three full seasons as head coach. Sullivan is also the first coach in team history to win multiple Cups. Another area where Sullivan has found success is challenging calls with the NHL’s coach’s challenge. [Pensburgh]

News and notes from around the NHL...

The puck has been dropped on the annual World Junior Championship being held in Vancouver this year. U20 players from 10 countries will represent their homelands at the marquee tournament, including many future NHL players. If you are tuning in at any point, keep your eyes peeled for some future hockey greats. [NHL]

It’s the time of year when everyone makes New Year’s resolutions so why should hockey teams be any different. Regardless of how a team’s season has gone to this point, good or bad, there are always changes one can make to improve themselves going forward. [CBS Sports]

Since taking over as head coach, Ken Hitchcock has pulled the Edmonton Oilers back into the playoff conversation but having Connor McDavid as his disposal surely helps. What Hitchcock is beginning to realize as Oilers coach, once he gets past McDavid, that shelf becomes bare pretty quickly. [Edmonton Sun]