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Pens Points: Two-week countdown

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Pens fall in overtime in Detroit. DeSmith looks to have the backup job wrapped up. Season ticket holders get special treat in trip to Buffalo. Local kid makes Penguin debut. Brassard back at practice.

NHL: Preseason-Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Another night, another preseason game for the Penguins as we hit the two week mark until opening night on October 4. Derek Grant and Ryan Haggerty scored for the Pens in what turned out to be a 3-2 overtime loss to the Red Wings. Don’t put too much focus on the result as the team was fielding mostly minor league players. Tristan Jarry posted a strong outing to keep his name in the mix for the backup goalie job though Casey DeSmith still sits in the driver's seat.

Next up for the Penguins, a weekend double-header with the Columbus Blue Jackets and aforementioned Red Wings at PPG Paints Arena. There’s a good chance we’ll see the bigger names in action for the first time this preseason.

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

Growing up, Sam Lafferty dreamed of one day playing for his childhood team the Pittsburgh Penguins. That dream became a reality last night in Detroit when the Hollidaysburg native made his Penguins debut against the Red Wings. [Trib Live]

Tuesday’s road trip to Buffalo included a few extra people on board the charter than a standard NHL flight. Fifty season ticket holders were selected at random by the Penguins to join the players on their flight to Buffalo for a once in a lifetime experience. [Penguins]

A standout performance in Buffalo to go along with a strong training came to date, has all but sealed the backup role for Casey DeSmith to begin the season. Barring something extraordinary, it appears the one question mark in the Penguins opening night lineup has been settled. [Pensburgh]

When jobs are on the line, guys will do anything to make an impression on the coaches, that includes dropping the gloves. Fighting has been slowly declining in the NHL over the last few seasons and it appears even preseason fighting is on the out as well. [Trib Live]

Illness prevented Penguins’ center Derick Brassard from participating in the first few days of training camp but the sickness has passed and Brassard rejoined his teammates on the ice for the first time on Wednesday. Now healthy, Brassard plans to start laying the groundwork for a strong 2018-19 campaign. [Pensburgh]

New defensive addition Jack Johnson sat down with Mike Sullivan at the beginning of training camp for a discussion about his role for Pittsburgh and how to rediscover the swagger he had back in college. After starting in his first game as a Penguin, Johnson is starting to feel at home. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Preseason games are generally meaningless in the larger scope of an NHL season but it does give us a chance to evaluate players on an individual basis. As mentioned earlier, Casey DeSmith had a stellar showing against the Sabres on Tuesday night and likely locked down the backup job behind Matt Murray. However, DeSmith wasn’t the only player making his mark as a few other names left us with something to digest. [Pensburgh]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Less than a week after being traded away from the Ottawa Senators, defenseman Erik Karlsson made his San Jose Sharks debut during a practice session on Wednesday afternoon. Those in attendance were impressed by Karlsson and what he adds to an already dangerous Sharks team. [The Mercury News]

Staying in San Jose, the NHL unveiled the official logo of the 2019 NHL All-Star Game being hosted by the Sharks this coming January. [NHL.com]

No team is perfect entering a new season but some are much better off than others. All 31 teams face questions that must be answered if they hope to be lifting the Stanley Cup at the end of the season. [CBS Sports]

NHL referees are often maligned and sometimes for good reason. Regardless of your personal feelings on game officials, they remain the cream of the crop at the NHL level which can take them years of experience to reach. Much like players, officials also go through a training camp to prepare for the upcoming season. [TSN]