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Pens Points: the Stars will be out in Pittsburgh tonight

Gameday links for the Penguins/Stars game

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NHL: NOV 21 Stars at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s Friday and the Pittsburgh Penguins are gearing up for the Dallas Stars. First, your daily links from around the team and league:

Jared McCann was back in practice on Thursday, but remains officially day-to-day dealing with an injury he described as “nagging”. Still, after being on the ice for the first time in four days, one would think McCann might be an option to play tonight, but I suppose we’ll have to see how the day unfolds. []

And while coach Mike Sullivan did concede that Alex Galchenyuk recently checked himself into the emergency room for an allergic reaction, Sullivan said it wasn’t officially known to be because of a spider bite. Sorry Coach, this story already grew eight legs and walked off. [Tribune Review]

Who would make the best hypothetical forward-turned-defenseman on the team? The Pens’ players pondered the question giving some votes to Brandon Tanev, Sidney Crosby and Teddy Blueger as they talked about Juuso Riikola temporarily switching from defense-to-forward. []

Adam Johnson wants to get knocked off pucks less, and stay in the NHL for as long as he can. [Tribune-Review]

The Pens were #8 in this power ranking (which apparently was developed before they beat the #1 team on Wednesday). [Sportsnet]

The “when will Pittsburgh trade a defenseman” never-ending talk lurches onward. Pierre Lebrun lists Erik Gudbranson among players around the league who could be available for a trade, saying in part, “I wonder if Anaheim wouldn’t also look at Gudbranson, a more rugged player who could fit on their third pair. Anaheim is flush at forward, which is a positional need for the Penguins”. As I’ve said before, Devin Shore ($2.3m for this season only then RFA, versatile and fairly young) seems to make a bit of sense for each team, so I guess we’ll see..... [The Athletic]

Meanwhile in Dallas, they’re already hoping for a reset just eight games into the season. That’s...never a good sign. [Defending Big D]

How bad have the Stars’ (1-6-1) been? Well, there’s this:

Yeah, you should probably expect the Pens to be facing down a very desperate team that knows they need to start winning some games ASAP.

And from around the league..

Vegas forward Valentin Zykov won’t be playing against the Pens tomorrow night, as he’s been suspended for 20 games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. His agent is citing an over-the-counter protein supplement as containing the banned item. [The Athletic]

John Tavares is out at least 2 weeks with a broken finger, which hurts, but more painful is the Maple Leafs’ salary cap situation which could plunge them towards a dangerous spot; as the dark, dangerous, complicated under-belly of long-term injury reserve rears its ugly head. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Connor McDavid has 17 points through the first seven games. 17. A 1 and a 7. Save some for the rest of us, bud. [Yahoo]

Phil Kessel scored his first goal as a member of the Arizona Coyotes last night, then a second in AZ’s 5-2 win over Nashville. [Arizona Republic]

Corsi? Plus/minus? Save percentage? GAA? WOWY? What are the most misleading or worst advanced metrics? A who’s who of leading analytic experts weigh in on it and give some interesting viewpoints. [ESPN - Wyshynski]

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman fielded a few questions from our Avalanche sister blog about Colorado hosting a second Stadium Series game, and the ongoing TV-negotiation troubles out there for their fans to watch on Altitude (basically would be like if your cable company wasn’t airing the AT&T Sportsnet channel in Western PA). [Mile High Hockey]

St. Louis seems to be taking a tough negotiating stance with their captain, Alex Pietrangelo. Not so sure that’s very wise just months out from unrestricted free agency, where he’ll no doubt be a man in demand if he makes it that far. But hey, good luck with that. [St. Louis Game Time]