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Pens Points: Preparing for the Final Push

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Pens get an extra day off before back-to-back set in New York and Montreal. Malkin continues climb up scoring charts and makes case for MVP. Questions continue to swirl regarding Sprong. Decade of success about more than just drafting Crosby and Malkin. Pens team up with Carnegie Mellon to make hockey safer.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday will be another off day for the Penguins as they prepare for a back-to-back set with the Rangers and Canadiens on Wednesday and Thursday.

Catch up on the latest Penguins news with this Tuesday edition of Pens Points...

As Evgeni Malkin continues his climb up the NHL scoring race, the Russian superstar continues to add to his personal accolades in the process. Another strong week from the Penguins 1A superstar netted him NHL “Third Star of the Week” honors. [Penguins]

A bad call cost the Penguins a critical goal on Saturday night against the Maple Leafs. In the moment, the team was rightfully angry but quickly moved past incident and focused on the task that lay ahead of them. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

In an effort to make hockey safer, the Penguins are teaming up with Carnegie Mellon University and Covestro to rethink the way hockey rinks are designed. Engineering students from CMU will work with Covestro, a company that develops high tech plastics, to create a prototype of a safer glass and dasher boards used in a rink. The products will then potentially be tested at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. [Trib Live]

Questions continue to surround the status of Daniel Sprong and whether or not he will play a factor the Penguins’ plans down the stretch and into the playoffs. Based on what we know, it seems upper management and head coach Mike Sullivan still have concerns about Sprong playing consistently in the defensive end for him to be an NHL regular. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Most of the Penguins success over the last decade plus can be directly linked to their bad years in the early 2000’s that offered them the opportunity to draft high and pick two franchise players in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. While many deride the way the Penguins built their championship teams, the franchise is proving its much more than just lottery luck that put them in the position to win a third straight Stanley Cup. [Montreal Gazette]

Many fans outside of Pittsburgh are not including Evgeni Malkin in their discussion for NHL MVP this season, at least not as a very serious candidate. Looking at Malkin’s complete body of work this season, including his continued assault on the NHL scoring race and Rocket Richard race, it is laughable to not have Malkin at or near the top of the list. [Pensburgh]

News and notes from around the NHL...

As the season enters the final stretch, there is a tight race to see who (if any) can reach the 50 goal mark this year. As it stands at the moment, there are three possible candidates to milestone and all three will need to score at just under a goal per game pace to get there. Alex Ovechkin, Patrik Laine, and Evgeni Malkin all have a shot and it will be must watch to see if anyone can get there. [Toronto Star]

After a scary collision on Saturday, it appears Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand will escape punishment for running into Anthony Duclair of the Chicago Blackhawks. Given Marchand’s history, one could why he could be considered for suspension but it appears the NHL made the right decision to forego any punishment. [Hockey News]