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Pens Points: Final Stretch

Penguins enter final week of their season looking to secure a division crown. Get a busy week of hockey started with Pens Points.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Just four games remain for the Pittsburgh Penguins this season and all four will be played between today and Saturday. Coming off a sweep of the Washington Capitals, the Penguins will look to keep their spot atop the Eastern Division with a back-to-back set against the rival Philadelphia Flyers.

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

New week begins with a new Pens Points for your enjoyment...

Three “x” marks now dot the Eastern Division standings with a fourth coming any day now. All that’s left for the teams to sort out their final positioning for the playoffs. Right now, the most important task for the Penguins is hanging on to that top spot. [Pensburgh]

Depth is crucial to winning a Stanley Cup and the Penguins will luckily enter the playoffs with a lot on their side. That’s a far cry from the start of the season where many figured lack of depth could be their biggest downfall. [Pensburgh]

Another area that will be crucial to the Penguins hopes lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup will be the blue line play. Battered and bruised all season long, the blue line has come together as a unit and made significant progress from where they were early in the season. [Trib Live]

One major piece of the Penguins lineup is still missing, but his return is imminent. That of course is Evgeni Malkin, who will rejoin a team that has been winning in droves without him. Should the best version of No. 71 return it creates a nightmare for opponents. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

It should be impossible to be surprised by Bryan Rust at this point but somehow he keeps dazzling even years after breaking into the NHL. His two goals on Saturday night tied him for the team lead and powered the Penguins to the division lead. [Penguins]

It remains to be seen if the Penguins and Capitals will meet in the playoffs this season but if the last two games were any indication, it will be a thrilling affair. Even after all these years and countless playoff meetings, the rivalry burns hot as ever. [NBC Sports]

In eight meetings this season, the Penguins walked away with six victories over the Capitals, though that won’t mean much if they meet down the road. Regardless, there is still a little something to learn for both sides from the season series. [NBC Sports]

News and notes from around the NHL...

As of Friday, the NHL is officially a 32 team league with the Seattle Kraken becoming an official member by making their final payment. With the money settled, the Kraken can now begin signing free agents and making trades. [NHL]