The calendar may read 2019 but the results are carrying over from last year as the Penguins extended their season long winning streak to seven straight with 7-2 blowout over the division rival New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Keeping with the theme of seven, that is also the amount of Penguins who registered a goal on Wednesday night. The win gives the Penguins a complete sweep of this three game road trip. [Pensburgh]
The Penguins will now return home for a three game homestand at PPG Paints Arena beginning Friday night when the Winnipeg Jets come to town.
Get your Thursday started with a fresh edition of Pens Points...
When Friday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets concludes, the Penguins will be at the midway point of the 2018-19 season. A slow start put them in a bit of a hole in the standings, but recent improved play and a long winning streak have the team right back in the Stanley Cup conversation. [Pensburgh]
Sidney Crosby was selected as the lone Penguins player chosen to represent the team at the 2019 All-Star Game in San Jose. This will mark the fourth time Crosby has played in the All-Star game though he has been selected as an All-Star eight times during his illustrious career. Perhaps surprisingly, Kris Letang was not chosen as one of the Metro division defenders to make the journey to San Jose. [Pensburgh]
Prior to the announcement that he made the 2019 All-Star game, Sidney Crosby announced that he plans to attend the gathering of the NHL’s best when they head to the West Coast at the end of January. Defenseman Kris Letang also indicated he will participate should he be chosen to play. [Trib Live]
Bryan Rust returned to the lineup against the New York Rangers following a brief one game absence to recover from a lower-body injury. Rust was the hottest Penguins player in terms of scoring in the month of December, recording 13 points in 14 games played. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Playing at over a two point per game pace, Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning was named the NHL’s First Star of the Month for December. Kucherov was not the only red hot scorer during the past month with Johnny Gaudreau and Connor McDavid taking home second and third star honors respectively. [NHL]
Washington Capitals goal scorer Alex Ovechkin has made the decision to skip the 2019 All-Star set to take place in San Jose. Ovechkin was recently named the captain of the Metro division team for the All-Star game as voted by the fans. He will have to serve a one game suspension as penalty for not taking part. [Yahoo! Sports]