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Pens Points: Lethargic and Lifeless

Pens Points is here to help you jump start your Wednesday which is something the Penguins could have used last night.

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NHL: FEB 16 Capitals at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Whatever team the Pittsburgh Penguins dressed on Sunday was nowhere to be seen on Tuesday night as they were simply going through the motions in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Washington Capitals. Not much good to say about the performance other than Zach Aston-Reese remained hot in his return to the lineup with his third goal in as many games to spoil the shutout bid. [Pensburgh]

‘Hump Day’ arrives with a new installment of Pens Points...

Once Marcus Pettersson returns to the Penguins lineup, the Penguins will have their full complement of left-handed defensemen healthy for the first time in weeks. That brings them one step closer to a fully healthy roster, something they rarely enjoy. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

With the recent string of COVID related postponements, the Penguins had more than a half dozen games altered and moved to later in the season. A handful of those games involved division basement dwellers the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. [Trib Live]

Evgeni Malkin tallied a big goal last week against the New York Islanders, but he continues to struggle at both ends of the ice. While there is only so much Mike Sullivan and his staff can do, they do have options to help Malkin break his slump. [NBC Sports]

Bryan Rust continues to produce for the Penguins and his play has the first line clicking on all cylinders. In two games last week, Rust scored three goals and recorded five total points and was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for his efforts. [Pensburgh]

There are still no fans in the stands at PPG Paints Arena but that isn’t stopping Penguins fans from watching their favorite hockey team. Pittsburgh routinely leads the league in local television ratings and the pandemic hasn’t slowed that momentum in any way. [KDKA]

Rust was on the verge of becoming a 30-goal scorer last season before the shutdown so his offensive explosion this season isn’t exactly a surprise. What is a surprise was his development into one of the Penguins best offensive weapons in the first place. [The Hockey Writers]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Nothing has ever been easy for the Arizona Coyotes organization and a new investigation by The Athletic pulls back the curtain on a truly toxic situation in the desert. From financial issues to sexual assault allegations, everything looks like a mess in the desert. [The Athletic]

Trying to play hockey through an ever changing pandemic landscape provides limitless challenges to teams and players. As the league continues to adapt with new protocols and season plans, players are forced to adapt right along with them. [ESPN]