Through the opening 15 minutes on Monday night it looked like the Rangers were the team fighting for a playoff spot, but after falling behind 2-0, the Penguins turned it on and responded with five unanswered goals on their way to a 5-2 victory and third-straight win. The win capped off a 3-0-1 road trip that pushed the Penguins right back into the thick of the Metropolitan race. [Pensburgh]
The Penguins will now return home for a three-day break before games resume on Friday evening with Nashville in town.
Here is your latest team news courtesy of Pens Points...
Jake Guentzel already has a career high 38 goals scored this season and looks to be well on his way to potting over 40 this year. Playing alongside Sidney Crosby is obviously a major factor in Guentzel’s success, but his style of play makes him the perfect winger for Sid’s line. [Pensburgh]
Sitting on 93 points for the season, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is setting his sights on reaching the 100 point plateau for the first time since the 2013-14 season. To reach the mark, Crosby will need seven points over the team’s remaining six games, which works out to 1.16 points per game. [Trib Live]
After returning to the lineup for three games following an 11-game absence, Kris Letang returns to the press box against the Rangers with another upper-body injury. Just like his last bout with injury, Letang is considered day-to-day according to head coach Mike Sullivan. [Trib Live]
As the Penguins were locked in a battle for a playoff spot, Sullivan continued to go with Murray in goal. With a three-day break coming up and no back-to-back sets remaining on the schedule, it makes sense for the Penguins to ride Matt Murray as much as possible with the playoffs approaching. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Making your NHL debut is undoubtedly a nerve racking experience for the player and their family. While a player is just focused on making a good first impression for his teammates and coaches, his family may be trying to arrange last minute travel details to be in attendance for the big moment. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
College hockey is now entering tournament time, which means only 16 teams are left standing after a long season. For players on teams who did not make the tournament, some must decide whether to remain at school or sign a contract and go pro. One of those players with a decision to make is Penguins’ prospect Nikita Pavlychev from Penn State. [Pensburgh]
A few weeks after taking each other on in a long distance shooting competition, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are back once again, this time with a t-shirt cannon. The two superstars had the task of landing a t-shirt closest to the center ice dot from the lower concourse level at PPG Paints Arena. [KDKA]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Kyle Connor racked up an impressive eight points in four games last week to help the Winnipeg Jets clinch a playoff spot, and he was recognized as the NHL’s First Star of the Week. Standing alongside Connor were Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philipp Grubauer of the Colorado Avalanche. [NHL]
The length of NHL suspensions decreased this season but the head of Department of Player Safety believes there is a good reason behind that statistic. While the number of suspensions are down overall, the NHL has seen an influx of first time offenders this season, meaning they were not dealt significant suspensions based on prior history. [ESPN]