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Pens Points: Shipping Up to Boston

Pens head to road for one game to face-off with Bruins. Aston-Reese out “longer term” with lower body injury. Breaking down Sheary’s struggles. Brassard trying to adjust on the fly to new system and teammates. Crosby’s concussion now old information in medical field. Keeping players strong and fit during the NHL grind. Seattle expansion news!

NHL: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off consecutive losses for the first time since December, the Penguins will be looking to get back in the win column tonight when they travel to Boston to face-off against the Bruins. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast locally on AT&T Sports Network and nationally on NBCSN.

Now, wake up with your daily dose of Pens Points...

More bad news on the injury front for the Penguins. Head coach Mike Sullivan revealed today that Zach Aston-Reese was not a healthy scratch against the Devils but instead suffered a lower body injury during practice and will be out “longer term” according to Sullivan. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

It has been no secret that Conor Sheary has struggled of late and for most of the season to this point. Fans are beginning to grow restless with the young winger and on Wednesday, Sheary voiced his own frustrations with his recent play. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Our very own Kaitlyn Dividock did a deep dive into Sheary’s play and his lack of offensive production this season. In her research, she found noticeable deficines in Sheary’s game this season and these lapses in play are not going unnoticed by Mike Sullivan, who has trimmed Sheary’s ice time nightly. [Pensburgh]

Two losses in a row amount to a losing skid when you are as hot as the Penguins have been as of late. One of their biggest issues in those two setbacks have been surredning odd man rushes and putting their defense in a tight spot. This is a problem they plan on rectifying ASAP. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Derick Brassard made his Penguins debut on Tuesday night and things did not goes as well as he may have hoped but that is expected when playing with new teammates. Brassard admitted after practice on Wednesday that the change of scenery is definitely an adjustment but plans to fit in well with the Pens. [Trib Live]

Medical research is ever evolving as new information becomes available to the medical community. Seven years ago, when Sidney Crosby suffered a concussion, the information pulled from his experience was cutting edge and used across the medical field. Now, seven years later, that research is considered out of date. [Trib Live]

A lot of work goes into keeping players strong and fit during the grind of an NHL season. Designing workouts and drills for different players based on what they feel is working best for them is an around the clock job and player feedback plays a major role in how they perform their daily tasks. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL...

It appears almost certain that Seattle will be the NHL’s 32nd franchise in the coming years as expansion plans move forward with quite a head of steam. As it stands, all signs point to a very favorable expansion process for the Seattle ownership group. [Sports Illustrated]

Some speculated that the success of the Vegas Golden Knights may actually hurt a potential Seattle expansion team, as the expansion draft rules could be altered to ensure a new team doesn’t have the immediate success Vegas is experiencing. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman flaty denied this and reiterated that the same rules will apply to a Seattle expansion draft. [TSN]

A few days after losing his infant daughter, Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal and his wife released an emotional thank you for all the support they have received during this very difficult time. [Sporting News]