For the second time in four days and the third time since Thanksgiving, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes are set for a Metro division showdown. On Sunday, the Penguins let a third period lead slip away in a 3-2 loss in Raleigh, but will have a chance for redemption tonight in the team’s final game before the Christmas break.
Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.
Here is Pens Points on your Thursday morning...
Many of the early season issues plaguing the Penguins have been fixed, but there is still one glaring hole. Years of icing a strong third line has been the usual in Pittsburgh, but right now its a black hole in dire need of repair. [Pensburgh]
When the injury bug comes for the Penguins it seems to hit with full force. Jason Zucker was a welcome surprise back in the lineup on Tuesday but now the Penguins will be without Ryan Poehling and Josh Archibald who are listed as day-to-day. [Trib Live]
It wasn’t discussed when it happened, but after Bryan Rust scored his goal against the New York Rangers, he had to be restrained by teammates from going after Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren who crosschecked him between the numbers. [Fan Nation]
Rickard Rakell has been a revelation for the Penguins on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel this season. His offensive game has been superb alongside those guys, but he brings much more to the team than just the stats. [Trib Live]
At the end of November, defenseman Brian Dumoulin lost the Penguins monthly shootout competition and had to pay the price. His punishment? Take part in a practice wearing a random assortment of gear selected by his teammates. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
News and notes from around the NHL...
When the Hurricanes skate into town tonight they will do so as the division leaders, supplanting the New Jersey Devils. A win by the Penguins will move them into a tie for second place, just two points off the top spot. [Canes Country]
John Tortorella is less than half a season into his tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers and he’s already torching bridges. His recent decision to sit leading scorer Kevin Hayes has snowballed into a drama no even Shakespeare could write. [Broad Street Hockey]
As Canada prepares to host the 2023 World Junior Championships where they will enter as a medal favorite, Hockey Canada remains under numerous investigations related to sexual misconduct allegations involving past teams. [Pension Plan Puppets]