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Pens Points: On a Roll

Hot streak has the Penguins back in the playoff picture. Next up is the sliding Sabres, but first, another off day and some Pens Points to get you through.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Any memories of the slow start from the Pittsburgh Penguins are slowly fading into the rearview with the team on a three game winning streak and coming away victorious in 10 of its last 14 games. That run of play has pushed the Penguins from outside the playoff picture to firmly in contention, sitting at third place in the Metro division and holding a five point cushion on the playoff bubble.

Thursday arrives with Pens Points to start your day...

Tuesday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was a microcosm of the Penguins recent play. It was a slow start for the home side, but as the game wore along, their play improved and they dominated the later stages. [Pensburgh]

Last summer was just another offseason of trade rumors surrounding Marcus Pettersson that amounted to nothing in the end. Given his play this season, it’s a good thing Ron Hextall and Co. held onto the Swedish blue liner. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

There was a bit more pressure on the shoulders of Bryan Rust entering this season after his big pay raise over the summer. While the start to the season did not go as planned, Rust has shaken off his early woes and is filling the net. [Trib Live]

Prospect Sam Poulin will be taking a leave of absence from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for personal reasons. No other details were given other than Poulin will be returning home to Quebec to be with family. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL...

A clearer picture is beginning to form in the Metro division as the season approaches Christmas. The New Jersey Devils appears to be for real while the bottom has fallen out for the Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers. [Canes Country]

Speaking of the Metro division, two teams currently on the outside looking in of the playoff picture went to battle on Wednesday night with the Washington Capitals coming away with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. [Japers Rink]

An injury crisis has befallen the defending champion Colorado Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon is the latest victim to be sidelined and with the injuries mounting, the hopes of a Stanley Cup repeat could be on thin ice. [Mile High Hockey]