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Pens Points: Carolina Calling

Pens begin four game road trip with crucial showdown against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. Before puck drop, catch up on the latest team news in today’s Pens Points.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a rough weekend that saw them capture just a single point in the standings, the Penguins will look to get back into the win column tonight in a crucial showdown with the Carolina Hurricanes that carries heavy playoff implications. We already know Evgeni Malkin will not be in the lineup tonight and in the immediate future, so the Penguins will need some other guys to step up and carry them closer to a playoff berth.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.

Catch up on the latest team news in today’s Pens Points...

Two losses on the scoreboard over the weekend certainly dampened the spirits of the Penguins and their fans but it was a loss to the lineup that will hurt much worse over the final nine games. Mike Sullivan announced that Evgeni Malkin is week-to-week with an upper-body injury after missing Sunday’s game. [Pensburgh]

With Malkin out, the Penguins will need other players to step up and fill his absence in the lineup and also on the scoresheet. This would be the perfect time for Phil Kessel to round back into form and help the Pens complete their push to the playoffs with Malkin on the sidelines. [Pensburgh]

If there is any good news in the Malkin injury, it’s that they collected a good amount of points in the run up to Saturday to put themselves in solid position to make the playoffs. There is still work to be done over the next three weeks without Malkin and the Penguins have the players to make sure it gets done. [Trib Live]

Malkin was a surprise scratch for the Flyers game when he didn’t come out for warm ups and it wasn’t until after the game we knew the full severity of his injury. Teddy Blueger filled his spot as the second line center on Sunday but it remains to be seen just how Mike Sullivan shuffles the lineup going forward. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Sunday night’s blown lead is just another in a worrisome growing trend for the Penguins as the playoffs approach. They may be 32-0-3 when leading after two period this season, but all three of those overtime losses have now come in the last three weeks of play. [Trib Live]

Carter Hart and Jordan Binnington are both rookies this season and both started against the Penguins over the past weekend. Their combined .967 save percentage in those two games caused plenty of headaches for the Penguins, who seemed unable to solve the young netminders. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

If you were not already aware, it has been a very long time since the Philadelphia Flyers have won the Stanley Cup. In fact, Sunday marked 16,000 days since the Flyers lasted hoisted the Cup. Something Penguins fans were more than happy to remind them about during the game. [NBC Sports]

Evgeni Malkin became the fourth Penguins player to record 1,000 career points on Tuesday night against the Capitals, joining Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and teammate Sidney Crosby. This made the Penguins only the second team in history to have four 1,000-point scorers in their history. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL...

This week featured perhaps the most random NHL “Star of the Week” selections we have seen all season. Leading the pack was New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss who posted a .959 save percentage across four games last week. Brendan Perlini of the Chicago Blackhawks was the second star and Connor McDavid was named third star. [NHL]

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the runaway best team in hockey this season, but they are creating history outside of their play. Alison Murdock works for the team as the only woman to drive zamboni full time in the NHL. She is part of a crew of workers who have the unenviable task of making ice in the Florida oppressive heat. [ESPN]