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Pens Points: Bye, Philly

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Pens go into WFC and take two points from rival Flyers in potential playoff preview. Rivalry still heated but not what it once was. Rust proving to be a valuable addition since returning to the lineup. Former head coach Dan Bylsma shared some thoughts about Sidney Crosby. Stunning revelation about Phil Kessel and his affinity for hot dogs.

Kate Frese

Locked in a fight for playoff positioning, the Penguins took on the cross-state rival Philadelphia Flyers last night and came away with a crucial two points in a potential first round preview. The Pens struck first but the Flyers answered with two of their own early in the second period. Conor Sheary finally came to life with two goals of his own to give the Penguins a lead they never surrendered. Sidney Crosby recorded three assists to give him 1,110 points for his career. [Pensburgh]

Kate Frese
Kate Frese

It will be two days off for the Pens now before a weekend double-header beginning Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Stay up to date with your daily dose of Pens Points on this Thursday morning...

In the early days of the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin era in Pittsburgh, the rivalry between the Penguins and Flyers was perhaps the most heated rivalry in the NHL. Over the past few season however, the rivalry has cooled off a bit as the Capitals have taken over the role of the Flyers. Just because the rivalry isn’t what it once was, doesn’t mean the games don’t still carry a little extra weight. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak dropped the gloves against the Bruins last week but he doesn’t expect the same kind of game to unfold against the Flyers. Instead, Oleksiak expects the two playoff hopefuls to play with a greater goal in mind. [Trib Live]

Since returning to the lineup in February, Bryan Rust has been a do all player for the Penguins. His strong play has been a welcome addition for the Penguins and he is getting regular playing time alongside Evgeni Malkin. [Penguins]

Former Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was a guest on ESPN’s hockey podcast this week and dropped some takes about Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby. Bylsma said he still marvels at the way Crosby processes the game, calling him the smartest player in the NHL. One title he did not bestow upon Crosby however was “Best in the World.” [ESPN]

With college hockey beginning to conclude its season, many players will be signing pro contracts with NHL teams. Today, the Pens put ink to paper with Brown senior Sam Lafferty on a two year deal. The Pens originally drafted the Hollidaysburg, PA native in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Draft. [Penguins]

It’s been a long season for Chad Ruhwedel who is hoping to make a big impact down the home stretch into the playoffs. Ruhwedel entered the season as the designated 7th defenseman and has spent most of the season as a healthy scratch or recovering from injury. Ruhwedel is hoping to make up for lost time in the final weeks of the season. [Trib Live]

Since 2005, Sidney Crosby has been frustrating opponents on a regular basis. That frustration has built his reputation around the league as the hardest player to go up against which earns him admiration from opponents around the league. [Pensburgh]

Amanda Kessel broke the news during a Twitter Q&A session on Wednesday that her brother’s “love” of hot dogs may in fact be fake news. [Pensburgh]

News and notes from around the NHL...

At the age of just 26, Craig Cunningham suffered a cardiac arrest that almost took his life. A year and a half later, Cunningham no longer plays professional hockey but he has found his calling as a pro scout for the Arizona Coyotes and an advocate to bring attention to cardiac health. [ESPN]

Boston Bruins center David Backes has been suspended three games by the Department of Player Safety for his illegal hit on Red Wings center Frans Nielsen on Tuesday. Backes made contact with Nielsen’s head and was penalized for roughing. [Boston Herald]