Ending a losing streak against one of the hottest teams in hockey is nice. Ending a losing streak against one of the hottest teams in hockey who happens to be one of your biggest rivals is even better. With a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night, the Penguins ended a four game losing streak while ending the Flyers 10 game point streak in the process. Sidney Crosby welcomed young Carter Hart to the league with his 40th career goal against the cross-state rivals while Matt Murray returned to the crease, stopping a career high 50 shots. [Pensburgh]
Keep that winning feeling rolling with this morning’s Pens Points...
With tonight’s game against the Flyers, Sidney Crosby has played 917 in a Pittsburgh Penguins uniform. Combine that with Mario Lemieux’s total of 915, the two biggest names in franchise history have combined for 1,832 games played. That is certainly a lot of hockey games between two guys, but that number could be much higher. [Pensburgh]
Even when the Penguins are playing their worst, they can typically rely on the power play to at least pot some goals while the well is dry at 5-on-5 play. Right now that is not the case for the struggling Penguins as the normally potent power play looks lost every time it steps on the ice. [Trib Live]
Given the power plays recent struggles, head coach Mike Sullivan decided to mix up the line combinations a bit at practice in hopes of sparking his sluggish units. Sullivan’s moves included moving Phil Kessel down to the second unit and giving young defenseman Marcus Pettersson a look alongside Kris Letang on the top unit. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
All season has felt like a back and forth between good and bad for the Penguins and its safe to say this current stretch of play falls under the bad category. Losers of four straight, the Penguins have a bevy of problems that need to be addressed quickly if they hope to save their season and return to the playoffs once again. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
After 59 career games without a goal, Garrett Wilson finally scored his first career NHL goal in game number 60 on Saturday night in Tampa Bay. With the first now under his belt, Wilson is hoping to add a few more against Carter Hart and the Flyers on Monday night. Good news for Wilson, he has a penchant for success going against Hart in the minors. [Trib Live]
Trade season rolls along and the Penguins dipped their toes back in the water on Monday with a very minor deal. In exchange for a conditional draft pick, the Penguins acquired minor league defenseman Blake Siebenaler from the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Trib Live]
In just under two weeks, the Penguins and Flyers will meet again in Philadelphia but not at the same venue as last night’s game. Instead, they will face-off at Lincoln Financial Field in an NHL Stadium Series game on February 23rd. With the countdown officially on, the NHL has started preparing the stadium for some outdoor hockey. [Philly.com]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Pulling the St. Louis Blues back into the playoff picture with a 3-0-0 week was enough to propel goaltender Jordan Binnington to NHL First Star of the Week honors. Other weekly winners joining Binnington were Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Dylan Strome from the Chicago Blackhawks. [NHL]
Coaching hires in the NHL can either make or break the success of a team in the short term and the long term. This season, there have been 11 new head coaches across the league, some taking jobs in the offseason while others jumped in midway through. Regardless of when they started, it has been a mixed bag of results across the NHL. [ESPN]