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Pens Points: Back in (Preseason) Action

Regular season puck drop is two weeks away, but first, the Penguins still have some sorting out do to in the preseason. Get the latest news from Pens camp in today’s Pens Points.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Two weeks from now the Penguins will be preparing to open their 2019-20 season against the Buffalo Sabres. Before that can happen though, there is still some preseason business to take care of. Metro division rival the Columbus Blue Jackets come to town this evening and several big names are set to make their preseason debut for the Penguins.

Gear up for a preseason game day with Pens Points...

With the Blue Jackets coming to town this evening, the Penguins released their roster for the second preseason contest on the schedule. Alex Galchenyuk will make his Penguins debut while Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel, and Patric Hornqvist will also suit up. [Penguins]

With roster cuts on the horizon and the season only two weeks away, the Penguins reshuffled the camp groups into more distinct categories based on where the players are expected to be playing this season. [Pensburgh]

Preseason games mean little in terms of wins and losses, but what they are good for is coaches evaluating players and potential line combinations. With Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin locked in as the Penguins top pairing, Mike Sullivan will use the rest of the preseason to sort out who will join them on the blue line. [Trib Live]

First round pick Sam Poulin is expected to play this season with his junior hockey club in the QMJHL, but he got his first taste of NHL hockey on Monday night against the Sabres and is learning a lot about adjusting to professional hockey in his first camp with the Penguins. [Trib Live]

Jon Lizotte is not likely a name you will hear a lot this season in Pittsburgh, but he is a name to keep on eye in for the Wilkes/Barre-Scranton Penguin in the AHL. Formerly a fireworks salesman in North Dakota, Lizotte earned a camp invite from the Penguins this offseason where he’s turned some heads with his performance. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

From the looks of it, the Penguins may have found a third line for the upcoming season, at least to start. Nick Bjugstad seems to have wrapped up the 3C role with Jared McCann and Patric Hornqvist playing on the wings. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

With Phil Kessel out of the picture, the Penguins will need to re-work their power play to fill the void left by his departure. From the sound of it, the team is willing to try several different options on the top unit, including Alex Galchenyuk who came over in exchange for Kessel from the Coyotes. [NHL]

Filip Hallander is an up and coming prospect in the Penguins system who will continue his development this season in Sweden. That development will be placed on temporary hold after Hallander fractured his leg on Wednesday and will be out until after Christmas. [Trib Live]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Two seasons ago, the Winnipeg Jets were among the Stanley Cup favorites and playing in the Western Conference Finals. Now, their once promising future looks to be on shaky ground after a tumultuous offseason and the possible retirement of veteran defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. [Sportsnet]

While a slew of restricted free agents have signed new deals and rejoined their teams, there are still a handful waiting the wings and for at least two of them, deals don’t seem especially close to being done with two weeks before the regular season begins. [NHL]

When the NHL held its annual media tour in Chicago earlier this month, players in attendance were asked who the most underrated player in the league is. Several names were provided, but the most common was Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov. [NBC Sports]