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Pens Points: Avalanche Rematch

Pens welcome Avalanche to Pittsburgh hoping to avenge last week’s loss. Here’s to hoping Sidney Crosby has more hat trick magic in his stick. Catch up on another busy news day with this morning’s Pens Points.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a week after facing them in Denver, the Penguins welcome the Colorado Avalanche to PPG Paints Arena for their annual visit and to wrap up the season series between the two sides. In the first meeting last Wednesday, Sidney Crosby recorded a natural hat trick but the Penguins ultimately lost 6-3 at Pepsi Center. Let’s hope Crosby has some more of that magic up his sleeve and the Penguins can get some payback with a much needed victory.

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

Catch up on the latest Pens news with today’s Pens Points...

It has been clear for a while now that Daniel Sprong had no future in Pittsburgh, and on Monday his tenure with the Penguins officially came to a close when the former second round pick was dealt to the Anaheim Ducks. [Pensburgh]

In exchange for Sprong, the Ducks sent Swedish defenseman Marcus Pettersson to the Penguins to complete their side of the transaction. Pettersson is only 22-years old and just beginning his second season of hockey in North America. The Ducks drafted Pettersson 38th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. [Pensburgh]

After defeating the Winnipeg Jets last week, the Penguins had won back-to-back games an collected points in their last five. Since then, the Pens have dropped consecutive games to the Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers, the latter being particularly ugly. It seems like every positive step the team takes, it is outweighed by negatives to follow. [Pensburgh]

In an effort to jumpstart his struggling team, Mike Sullivan shuffled his usual lines and in the process split up Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. Since the break up, Kessel has been sharing the ice with Derick Brassard on the third line and for the Penguins to start finding some offensive success they will need tha pair to start clicking soon. [Pensburgh]

Normally, the Penguins hold practice at UPMC Lemieux in Cranberry but Monday’s practice was held at PPG Paints Arena with some special guests in attendance. Monday’s practice marked the 11th annual “Open Practice for Kids” where local student pack the stands and bring the noise for the players as they run through drills. [Penguins]

Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry have no provided much relief in goal for the Penguins but help may be arriving sooner rather than later. Prior to Monday’s practice, Matt Murray went through an individual workout on the ice as he continues to recover from a lower-body injury. [Trib Live]

Juuso Riikola was the surprise of the preseason for the Penguins and played well enough to make the season opening roster. His first few games in the NHL were nothing to write home about, but his recent strong play is giving him a strong case to be one of the blue line regulars for the Penguins going forward. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Through 25 games, just eight of those have come against the division, meaning there are still plenty of Metro games left to make up much needed ground. The major area of concern through those eight games is the Pens have only won two of them and the most glaring issues has been the lack of goaltending on the Penguins side. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Mark Scheifele scored five goals in across three games last week for the Winnipeg Jets and has been rewarded with the NHL First Star of the Week honors. Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill was named the second star and Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers rounded out the group as the third star. [CBC]

With William Nylander back in the fold, the Maple Leafs opened a roster spot by trading Josh Leivo to the Vancouver Canucks for an AHL prospect. Nylander signed a six year deal with the Leafs on Saturday after holding out since the summer. [NHL]

A week after firing Ron Hextall as general manager, the Philadelphia Flyers seem to have hired his replacement. Former Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher has been hired to replace Hextall and will be officially introduced on Wednesday, according to a report. Fletcher was working for the New Jersey Devils as an advisor and spent time in the Penguins organization under Ray Shero. [Sporting News]