Things went from bad to worse on Monday night in a 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils in their first game back from their extended break. Already down 2-0 after the first period, the Penguins powerless power play surrendered yet another shorthanded goal as things came unraveled from that point forward. Matt Cullen was able to cancel out the Devils short handed tally with one of his own in the third period but the game was too far gone at that point. [Pensburgh]
They’ll have to find a way to recover from this loss in a hurry as the NHL leading Tampa Bay Lightning come to town on Wednesday night.
Warm yourself up with this Tuesday edition of Pens Points...
Right out of the Penguins extended break and Jim Rutherford was already busy making some moves. Jamie Oleksiak is headed back to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 4th round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The Penguin originally acquired Oleksiak last season for a 4th round pick of their own. [Pensburgh]
With Oleksiak on his way out, it may be a sign that Justin Schultz is nearing a return to the lineup. Even without Oleksiak, the Penguins will have a log jam on the blue line once Schultz is healthy so it will be interesting to watch how Mike Sullivan tackles the lineup once Schultz is ready to go. [Pensburgh]
This will hardly be the last you hear of the Penguins in trade talks this season with still a month to go before the NHL’s trade deadline at the end of February. Based on recent comments from Jim Rutherford, the pieces are in place on the Penguins end to do some wheeling in dealing in the coming weeks. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
All it took was one game for Sidney Crosby to be named the NHL’s First Star of the Week and that game didn’t even have to be a real game with any consequence. His standout performance in the NHL All-Star Game on Saturday night helped earn him the weekly honors. [Pensburgh]
There is not much left for Crosby to win as a hockey player now that he has the All-Star Game MVP under his belt. In fact, Saturday’s award was just another trophy on an already overflowing mantle for the greatest player of his generation. [Trib Live]
Even his own teammates, who see in play and practice day in and day out, were blown away by Crosby’s performance in San Jose. Somehow, the Penguins captain continues to raise this bar this far into his illustrious career. [Trib Live]
Back before Christmas, the Penguins and Capitals faced off in a game that started with Jamie Oleksiak and Tom Wilson dropping the gloves. Over a month since that meeting, Jim Rutherford is still irked about how that fight between the two big men all went down. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
It took some time, but Dominik Simon is back on the Penguins top line beside Sidney Crosby. Simon saw regular playing time on the top line in their last game before the extended break and it appears he will remain there going forward. During his brief NHL career, Simon has done some of his best work alongside the Penguins captain. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Once the Seattle franchise joins the NHL in a few years, they will need an AHL affiliate team just like the other 31 teams in the league. Instead of trying to come to an agreement with an existing franchise, the Seattle ownership group is looking to create their own AHL team to be their minor league affiliate. [The News Tribune]
Jamie Oleksiak may be a big guy but he was not the biggest trade chip to fall on Monday. Right as Monday night’s NHL schedule was beginning play, the Toronto Maple Leafs made the first significant move of deadline season with the acquisition of defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings. [Pension Plan Puppets]