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Pens Points: Islanders Back in Town

Pens look to make it back-to-back wins as the Islanders are in town for a Metropolitan showdown. Get ready for tonight’s contest with a fresh edition of Pens Points to drop the puck on your Thursday.

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

It’s another hockey night in Pittsburgh as the Penguins welcome the New York Islanders to PPG Paints Arena for a Metropolitan division showdown. This will mark the third meeting between the two sides this season with the Islanders prevailing in the first two matchups by scores of 6-3 and 3-2 respectively. If the Penguins hope to climb back into the playoff picture then two points this evening is vital as the Islanders currently sit ahead of the Pens by only two points.

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

Drop the puck on your day with this morning’s Pens Points...

Unless the Penguins can suddenly flip the switch and go on a big run to get out of this rut, there is a good chance we will see another trade from general manager Jim Rutherford. With Carl Hagelin and Daniel Sprong already out the door, the next move Rutherford makes could involve a huge name and a fan favorite, Phil Kessel. [Pensburgh]

With Dominik Simon out day-to-day because of a lower-body injury the Penguins will have to fill the young winger’s role on the top line next to Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. For the time being, his replacement will be Bryan Rust who has struggled mightily all season to put the puck in the net. The Penguins are hoping by switching Rust to the top line, they can jumpstart his production going forward. [Trib Live]

A little over 24 hours after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Daniel Sprong, Marcus Pettersson was on the ice for his Penguins debut against the Avalanche. Pettersson spent most of his night alongside Jack Johnson on the third blue line pairing and put together a strong first showing with his new club. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Every year, Forbes values all of the “Big Four” franchises in North America and ranks them first to worst. This year, the Penguins dropped a spot to No. 11 among NHL franchises but their value remains steady at $650 million. They were knocked out of the Top 10 by the rival Washington Capitals who are coming off a Stanley Cup and new television deal. [Trib Live]

It was a rough start to the 2018-19 campaign for center Riley Sheahan who was beginning his first full season in a Penguins uniform. Sheahan was tasked with anchoring the team’s fourth line and his production was nowhere to be found until just recently. Coming off a healthy scratch a few weeks back, Sheahan is playing his best hockey of the year. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Tuesday night’s victory halted a two game losing streak and gave the Penguins some much needed standings points. Although the Penguins have been playing ugly hockey for quite a time now, they sit only a few points back of a playoff spot at the moment. There is still time to make up ground and hopefully Tuesday night can serve as a launching point. [Trib Live]

It’s December which means the World Junior Championships are just around the corner. With the tournament rapidly approaching, participating nations are beginning to announce their preliminary squads. Penguins prospect Filip Hållander was named to Sweden’s preliminary roster meaning he could very well be featuring in the upcoming tournament. [Pensburgh]

Following their victory over the Avalanche, the Penguins had some special visitors waiting for them. The cast of “Trailer Park Boys” dropped by the team’s dressing room after the game and posed for a photo with fellow Nova Scotian Sidney Crosby. [CBC]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Seattle is officially getting an NHL after the Board of Governors voted to welcome the league’s 32nd franchise. While the new franchise will not begin play until 2021, the search for a head coach and general manager is already underway. [Sportsnet]

After losing his stick on Tuesday night in a game against the Vegas Golden Knights, Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov tried taking a stick from a Knights’ defenseman. Instead of being rewarded for his ingenuity, Kuznetsov was punished for a minor penalty to illegal use of equipment. [USA Today]