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The 12 days of Pensmas: A holiday season recap

A holiday season recap of the Penguins season so far.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals
Pittsburgh Penguins players celebrate after their win over the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on December 10.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what you’re celebrating, happy holidays from Pensburgh! Join us for a 12-days-of-Christmas style rundown (but with fewer golden rings) of the Penguins season so far...

In 30 games since October 12, we’ve had:

12

Wins in last 15 games (12-2-1), including a seven-game win streak from December 4 until the current COVID-19 pause.

11

Jake Guentzel tallies at even strength (10 at 5v5, one at 4v4), making the Penguins’ leading scorer and points producer one of the top 16 even-strength scorers in the NHL.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Seattle Kraken
Jake Guentzel scores a goal past Joey Daccord of the Seattle Kraken during the third period on December 6, 2021.
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

10

Goals from second leading scorer Evan Rodrigues, who has passed his career high in goals just 30 games into his seventh NHL campaign.

9

Games in which Tristan Jarry has allowed one or fewer goals against, spanning three shutouts and allowing him to tie for the NHL lead in GAA (among goalies with at least 20 games played) with 1.93.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils
Tristan Jarry makes a save during the third period against the host New Jersey Devils on December 19, 2021.
Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

8

Consecutive games where Sidney Crosby marked over 50% on faceoffs, from November 29 to December 17, after uncharacteristic struggles on the dot at the beginning of the season.

7

Career-high shots from Teddy Blueger against the Devils on December 19 (all of the rest of the Penguins forwards combined totaled nine). Blueger scored to help Pittsburgh to a 3-2 win.

6

Number of players ahead of Kris Letang for the most overtime assists in NHL history, after he set up Jeff Carter in overtime to seal a 3-2 win with his 22nd career overtime helper against the visiting Sabres on December 17. The only players with more: Ryan Getzlaf, Patrick Kane, Henrik Sedin, Joe Thornton, Duncan Keith and Nicklas Lidstrom.

Buffalo Sabres v Pittsburgh Penguins
Jeff Carter celebrates his overtime goal with Kris Letang on December 17, 2021.
Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

5

Consecutive games won with Crosby on the roster, but without him scoring, for the first time in Penguins history. The captain recorded five assists during the stretch from December 10 to December 19.

4

Seven-game win streaks under the reign of head coach Mike Sullivan, the most recent of which (December 4 to December 19) was stopped only by the pause for COVID-19. The others: Dec. 19, 2018 to Jan. 4, 2019; Dec. 1 to Dec. 14, 2016; March 26 to April 7, 2016.

3

Penalty kills shy of an all-time franchise penalty-killing record streak. The Penguins killed off 39 straight penalties in 16 games from November 16 until the Devils snapped it on December 19; Pittsburgh’s all-time high was from March 28 to April 18, 1998, when the team killed off 42 in a row.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils
Teddy Blueger celebrates his shorthanded goal against the host New Jersey Devils on December 19, 2021.
Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

2

NHL teams ahead of the Penguins in goals against per game played; the Carolina Hurricanes (2.14 GAA) and Calgary Flames (2.21 GAA) are the only teams to edge out the Penguins, who have averaged 2.40 goals against per game so far. The league average sits at 2.94.

1

Place in the NHL in points percentage race from November 18 until the holiday pause. The Penguins lead all teams with a .833 points percentage over these 15 games; the second team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, sits at just .781 over the stretch.

Happy holidays, and see you on the other side of the pause!