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Pens Points: One More Week

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Grab a coffee, and delve into Pittsburgh’s Thursday headlines.

NHL: Preseason-Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Fielding a near full lineup on Wednesday night, the Penguins cruised past the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 in the team’s final preseason home game. Phil Kessel tallied twice in the first period and insurance was provided by Kris Letang, Derick Brassard, and Matt Cullen in the second. The team will wrap up their preseason schedule on Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Kick-off the one week regular season countdown with today’s Pens Points...

Three big names enter the 2018-2019 on the final year of their current contract and will be hoping to impress the Penguins (or other teams) enough to offer them new deals. Carl Hagelin, Derick Brassard, and Riley Sheahan all face potential free agency with coming offseason if they do not resign with the Pens beforehand. [Pensburgh]

On Tuesday, Evgeni Malkin made a special trip to the Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center to visit injured Laurel High School football player Hayden Hamilton. Hamilton has been residing at the hospital ever since suffering severe spinal cord injuries during a game on August 31st. Malkin decided to make the trip after Hamilton stated the Penguins’ superstar is his favorite player. [Penguins]

Justin Schultz missed the Penguins preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres last night with an upper-body injury. When asked about the severity, head coach Mike Sullivan said he doesn’t envision believe the injury is serious and listed the defenseman as day-to-day. [Trib Live]

A new look third line of Derick Brassard, Dominic Simon, and Bryan Rust has developed during training camp and Mike Sullivan has been impressed with what the trio has done on the ice. Labeled as the best line on the ice during Sunday’s game, this newly formed line could play a major role for the Penguins. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Top junior level players will put their skills on display in Pittsburgh tomorrow when the USHL Fall Classic kicks off at UPMC Lemieux. Scouts from across the league will descend on Pittsburgh to watch America’s best young talent on the ice. The tournament runs from September 27th to September 30th and will feature projected No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes along with seven area players. [Penguins]

Jean-Sebastien Dea may be small but he already proven he can hang with the big boys at the NHL level. After successful, albeit brief, stint with the Penguins last season, Dea is hoping to make his stay in Pittsburgh this season a little more permanent. [Trib Live]

Some news from the farm system, the Wheeling Nailers announced a two year extension as the ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This season will mark the 21st consecutive year the Nailers have served as an affiliate with the Penguins. [Arena Digest]

Through 37 career playoff games, Jake Guentzel has proven himself a performer on the game’s biggest stage. For Guentzel though, he wants to show that he is much more than just a producer in the playoffs. [Trib Live]

It became painfully clear at many times last season that the Penguins were simply running on empty. Coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup runs, the gas tank had nothing left after two short summers. Now refreshed, the Penguins hope a long summer break will propel them to a fast start. [Indiana Gazette]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Sixteen teams make the NHL playoffs every season and this year will be no different. Before the season starts, there are a handful a teams you can pretty safely pencil into the field but each year holds a few surprises. For those new faces to emerge, a few have to take a step back. [The Score]

Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry will miss five months after undergoing knee surgery on Wednesday to repair meniscus and MCL injuries. Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones will also miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained knee. [ESPN]

Jori Lehterä made headlines on Wednesday but not for reasons he or anyone associated with the Philadelphia Flyers had hoped. Reports out his Lehterä’s native Finland state the 30 year old forward is a suspect in a major cocaine ring bust where his cottage was raided over the summer. [Sporting News]