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Marc-Andre Fleury doesn’t think anything he has experienced in his 14-year career that could prepare him for his return to Pittsburgh.

The Vegas Golden Knights goaltender — who won three Stanley Cups with the Penguins, including the past two seasons — will be back in Pittsburgh for the first time since Vegas selected him the expansion draft last summer.

Fleury played against — and beat — his former teammates in December in Las Vegas, but he said that doesn’t compare.

“I think it’s different from every game I’ve ever played,” the Penguins’ all-time winningest goaltender said. “In Vegas, I got a little taste of playing against friends and ex-teammates. I guess I got that out of the way. We’ll see.”

Fleury stopped 24 shots in that December game, the first meeting between the teams.

“There’s always motivation when you’re playing against friends and former teammates, especially the position we’re in and what happened when we were there,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “I’m sure he’s excited. It’s probably one he’s been thinking about for a while.”

Fleury practiced in Pittsburgh with the Golden Knights for the first time Monday. He said it was weird to go through his routine in the visitors’ locker room but good to be back in Pittsburgh, where he spent 13 seasons.

“It was my home for so long,” Fleury said. “I met a lot of people over the years who were great to me. It was a fun time.”

Pittsburgh took Fleury as a 19-year-old with the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NHL draft. He set team records for games and minutes played, wins and shutouts.

Current starter Matt Murray stepped in when Fleury went down on the eve of the 2016 playoffs. Murray helped the Penguins to the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup and eventually grabbed the No. 1 job.

Fleury knew his departure from Pittsburgh was inevitable last spring, but didn’t want to become a distraction as the Penguins sought to become the first team in nearly 20 years to win back-to-back championships.

Teams were allowed to protect one goaltender from the Golden Knights in the expansion draft, but players with no-movement clauses had to be protected. Fleury waived his no-movement clause before the trade deadline so the Penguins could protect Murray.

Then he enjoyed one final run with the Penguins.

Fleury regained the starting job when Murray aggravated an injury during warm-ups in the first game of the playoffs. He won nine games and helped eliminate division rival Columbus and the Presidents Trophy-winning Washington Capitals before Murray returned in the third round of the playoffs against Ottawa.

“We tried to do what was best for the hockey team and Marc was just such a professional in how he handled the whole thing,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “Those conversations might have been some of the hardest I ever had as a coach and the reason is because of how highly we think of him. He’s a great player, he’s a great person and he’s a great teammate.”

In Vegas, Fleury has helped the surprising Golden Knights to the top of the Western Conference standings. Vegas has already set the record for victories by an expansion team, and with a win on Tuesday, it would be two from matching the most road wins by a team in its inaugural season.

“From the start, expectations weren’t too high,” said Fleury, who earned his 390th career win Sunday to pass Dominik Hasek for sole possession of 13th place in NHL history. “I don’t think any of us wanted to be satisfied with just being OK or being an expansion team. I think we wanted more than that.”

Fleury will most certainly want more during his return to Pittsburgh.

“You always want to win,” Fleury said. “I don’t think I’m going to block anything out, either. I think it’s going to be a special moment for me, the first game back. I want to remember it and remember my time here.”

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- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

Coach Mike Sullivan said Thursday that Sheary is “week to week” after getting hurt in a 5-2 win over San Jose on Tuesday.

Sheary has 12 goals and seven assists in 52 games. Bryan Rust, who scored twice against San Jose, took Sheary’s spot on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Dominik Simon during practice Thursday.

The Penguins have won eight of 10 to move into second place in the Metropolitan Division behind Washington. The Capitals visit Pittsburgh on Friday.

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Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang represented the Metropolitan Division at the NHL’s All-Star Game tournament on Sunday afternoon at Amalie Arena, suffering a 7-4 loss to the Atlantic Division.

 ”It was fun. It was pretty tight for the most part, until the end,” Crosby said. “There were some big saves, some really nice goals, some nice plays. That’s what it’s all about.”

Crosby picked up a goal and assist in the contest while Letang notched a goal of his own.

“It’s a lot of talent. It’s a pretty open game,” Letang said. “You try to pass the puck more than you would. You also want to be careful with the goalies and players (for injuries). The fans paid money to come and see so you try to put a good show on and try different things.”

Crosby played with his longtime rival Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. The two superstars set each other up for goals of their own. Crosby teamed with Ovechkin last season and the duo helped lead the Metro Division to a tournament victory. Though this year it wasn’t meant to be both players enjoyed the experience.

“It was good,” Ovechkin said. “We didn’t have a lot of time to play out there, only a couple of shifts. But it was fun.”

“He’s a pretty easy guy to play with,” Crosby said. “As soon as you get over the blue line you look for him.

“He makes it look pretty easy. It’s fun to play with someone like that.”

Letang scored one of the nicer goals in the game. He collected a pass from John Tavares – he played with the Islanders’ Tavares and Josh Bailey – and juked goalie Carey Price to the ice before pulling the puck around the prone goaltender.

“Tavares was dangling and they were focused on him,” Letang said. “I was just trying to get there and be open. I faked the one-timer and walked around Price.”

For Letang, it was his first fourth All-Star appearance, but his first in the 3-on-3 format. He is a big fan of the new setup and hopes the league keeps it.

“It’s way better,” Letang said. “The 5-on-5 there isn’t enough room. Guys are just coasting. This you have to skate and there’s something to win. So guys are trying hard.”

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During the Penguins’ 6-5 overtime win over Boston on Jan. 7, Sidney Crosby carried the puck up the ice on a 2-on-1 rush with Daniel Sprong.

Crosby tried to thread a pass over, but the play was broken up by Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. When they returned to the bench, Crosby pulled out an iPad and talked through what had happened with Sprong.

“Just on the 2-on-1, he wanted me to slow down a bit,” Sprong said. “I asked him at what point he wants me to slow down and we read off the D, so it’s good that we’re talking a lot and I think that really helps. I was kind of behind him so I didn’t have the chance to go all the way to the back, so that’s when I’ve just got to pull up a little bit and make it easier for him.”

Having a teaching moment like that, during a game, in real time, wasn’t possible before the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, which is when the NHL made a deal with Apple to deliver video and data to the bench on a tablet. They decided to use a system called iBench, which is powered by a company called XOS Digital.

Many teams, including the Penguins, were already using XOS Digital’s video platform called Thunder Hockey to capture in-game feeds for hockey operations use, so it made sense to use the same company to stream video on the iPads.

The buildings of all 16 playoff teams were outfitted, which was a process considering the iPads have to operate on the same WiFi as the fans in the arena. They situated the access points and bandwidth usage, and as teams got eliminated, they were able to narrow their focus. It worked so well that they decided to expand it to all 31 buildings this summer, which was a big undertaking, but a big success.

“A lot of people thought they were crazy to think they would start it at the playoffs last year, but it was a pretty good time to try it,” said Brant Berglund, director of hockey products for XOS Digital. “It was something no one was dependent upon, it wasn’t mission critical at that point. People could pick it up and use it or leave it alone for now until they were more comfortable. A lot of teams really jumped in, particularly the two teams that made it to the Final.”

Obviously, the Penguins were one of those teams, and it was important to head coach Mike Sullivan that they embrace the new technology.

“Mike Sullivan said at a users’ conference this summer something along the lines of, ‘we knew it would give us a competitive advantage if we were good at it and a disadvantage if we weren’t, so we decided to invest the time and figure out how it would work the best,’” Berglund said. “That’s a credit to Mike, who’s always been a progressive thinker.”

Basically, this is how they work: Penguins video coach Andy Saucier captures the feed from the TV production truck on one of the computers in his office. The signal that he gets is then streamed out to those access points that are set up right behind the bench, and the iPads grab their feeds from there.

The iPads are set up like DVRs with controls at the bottom – for example, forward 10 seconds, forward five seconds, fast forward, slow motion. Whoever’s using it can simply take their finger and just buffer through the timeline. It’s not quite immediately available, but there’s only about a 5-10 second delay.

“It’s definitely the simplicity of the iPad and the platform itself that really accentuates the quickness that these guys can use it,” Berglund said. “We make the app and the NHL lays the groundwork for the connectivity and consistency of the signal, but the iPad is really the driving force behind all of it in terms of the ability to quickly navigate and use the Apple toolset. It’s been a pretty good marriage between all three.”

In addition, during a game, Saucier is tagging everything and making a bunch of clips. For example, when the Penguins score a goal, he presses a button and the play rolls back a certain number of seconds and forward a certain number of seconds. Since the iPads are tied into the program Saucier is using, that will be displayed on the tablet on the bench as a ticker mark in the timeline.

“It’s easy when you’re just watching from either up top or on the TVs, you can see the whole ice,” Saucier said. “But for them, they’re out there and it’s a different view, so all of a sudden they can see it on video right after their shift is over. They can see what’s available or they can see maybe where they have an opportunity to make a play or something like that. They really like it.”

Last spring, it was Rick Tocchet who was the coach in charge of using the iPads. This year, it’s Mark Recchi.

“They’re great for the coaching staff because we can go back and look at teaching points with the guys,” Recchi said. “Sometimes we get caught up talking to guys and something happens, or Sully might see something and he says, ‘take a look at that and I’ll take a look at it and I’ll show the guys.’ It’s great, it really is. It really benefits teaching right on the bench, even if you miss something. It’s great.”

Though it’s not just the coaching staff using them – more and more players have started taking the iPads into their own hands. That’s just the generation they’re from – they grew up using technology and they’re incredibly comfortable with it, so it’s been a perfect match in that regard.

“What was surprising was not necessarily the coaches grabbing them in a TV timeout, but it’s the frequency you see them being grabbed when players come to the bench between whistles,” Berglund remarked. “Someone has one in their hand and the great thing is to see it in player’s hands. I’m not quite sure that was perceived. It was thought that players would be shown things by coaches but not for coaches to hand the reigns over to players.

“Our programmers and engineers, they may not watch a lot of games, but to see Sidney Crosby sitting by himself on the bench using it, you couldn’t ask for a better thing to see.”

Right now, the Penguins have three iPads on the bench, but Saucier joked that they’re in such high demand they may need to re-evaluate that.

“I think when we first got them, it seemed like, why do we need three?” Saucier said. “But now Rex can’t get his hands on one when he wants to see something and we have three players watching something, so we might need some more.”

Recchi said that he needs two all the time for just the forwards, but it’s not always easy to procure them.

“I go to look at something and I’m like, ‘where the heck are my iPads?’ And they’re all looking at them,” he laughed. “They all got it down pretty good now, too. They’re looking right at the end of their shifts. It’s a good tool for them because they can see. It might be even getting a shot on goal, what did they see on a replay, or something like that. So it’s a huge benefit for everybody.”

Especially for this Penguins team, a mix of elite superstars and young talent who are all constantly trying to get better and better each and every day.

“They watch a lot of video, really just on their own, it’s not mandated at all,” Saucier said. “But they all watch, they watch their shifts, they want to get better and having it immediately on the bench is huge. I think it’s helped a lot for especially our guys, the types of personalities and types of learners we have.”

That starts with Crosby, who’s known for his incredible work ethic. As Sullivan has said, Crosby isn’t as good as he is by accident.

“As long as I’ve been associated with this league I don’t know that I’ve been around a player that has the same work ethic as Sid does as far as that insatiable appetite to try to just get better and be the best,” Sullivan continued. “And I think that’s why he’s as good as he is.”

Crosby thinks the game on another level, so he usually knows exactly when everything happened on the ice, and it doesn’t take him long for him to find what he’s looking for. At that point, he can look at the play and make his own adjustments, or have a visual tool to help explain to his teammates how to handle a certain situation.

“I think before, you’d have to wait till the end of the period,” Crosby said. “You’d go over the power play, you might not adjust or you might not see something because you don’t get a chance to really sit down and look at it for a period or so. So it’s nice to not necessarily waste time, but that you can look at it quickly and maybe adjust a little bit more on the fly than you typically would.”

But Crosby pointed out that it’s important not to get overly reliant on the iPads.

“I think sometimes it can be too much, too,” he said. “You don’t want to get caught. The game’s not static where you can just lay everything out the way you want to. But it’s nice to be able to look at that stuff sometimes. I think just knowing that the game is pretty free-flowing, a lot of things happen out there, but it’s a nice tool to have when you need it.”

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Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens’ 6-3 win against the Minnesota Wild at PPG Paints Arena.

* The Pens continue to trend upward. Pittsburgh won its 7th game in the past 9, which includes a 4-game winning streak. With the win the Pens hopped into 2nd place in the Metro Division (barring the outcome of Columbus at Arizona). Just 3 weeks ago many had left the Pens for dead. Once again they’ve risen from the ashes.

* Sidney Crosby’s legacy is well set in the city of Pittsburgh. Although Mario Lemieux is the greatest player to ever wear a Penguins sweater (or play the game in general for that matter), Crosby removed any question as to which player is the second greatest to don the black and gold.

Crosby picked up 3 assists against the Wild to give him 1,082 career points, surpassing Jaromir Jagr (1,079) for second place on the team’s all-time scoring list. And now only Lemieux (1,723) stands between Crosby and the mountaintop.

* Sticking with the Crosby theme, he now has a season-long 9-game scoring streak for 19 points (3G-16A). That gives him 55 total on the season, and he has inched his way to within 6 (barring other game outcomes) of Nikita Kucherov for the NHL lead.

* Crosby surpassed Jagr in the most Crosby way ever. He backchecked into the neutral zone to steal a puck, pivoted and darted into the offensive zone before finding rookie Dominik Simon to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

* Speaking of Simon, the 23-year-old winger scored 2 goals against Minnesota, his first career 2-goal game. And he scored both in impressive fashion, snapping off hard wrist shots form the high slot and perfectly into the corner. Simon has an incredible release on his shot, and I love seeing him not afraid to use it.

Simon has 3 goals in his past 2 games and a 3-game scoring streak (3G-1A). The rookie has looked comfortable on Crosby’s wing, and now the production is starting to come.

* While Crosby is stealing a lot of the headlines and attention, don’t forget about Phil Kessel and Malkin. Kessel picked up 3 assists while Malkin added 3 points (2G-1A). The 3-headed Monster led the charge for the Pens.

Kessel now has 58 points on the season, just 3 behind Kucherov. And Malkin stands at 52.

* The Pens welcomed back center Matt Cullen. The former Pen signed with his hometown Minnesota Wild in the offseason. Cullen was a member of the Pens’ past 2 Stanley Cup titles. He was affectionately referred to as “dad” by his teammates for his mentor and leadership role. The crowd gave Cullen a huge ovation as the “Thank You” video played for him during the 1st period.

* One negative in the game for Pittsburgh was the number of penalties taken by the team. Pittsburgh was penalized 5 times in the contest, and twice for closing their hand on the puck. Those types of mental lapses are inexcusable at this time of the season. Luckily the Pens’ PK stood tall, but it did cost rookie goalie Casey DeSmith his shutout.

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On Jan. 4, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 4-0. The Pens’ vaunted offensive stars were blanked. In a critical game. At home.

It was an ugly loss.

It was a low point.

But, it was also a turning point.

After that setback, the Pens won six of their next eight games. And the two losses, both on the road in California, could have been Pittsburgh victories.

“We go on that California trip and we lose two of the (three) games, but we played three pretty solid games,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “It’s about how you play. That’s what we talk with our team about. It’s about controlling the control-ables. It starts with attitude and effort and then we go from there.

“I give our players a lot of credit. They’ve been locked in here. And we’ve got to continue to be in order to get to where we want to go.”

Where the Pens want to go is the Stanley Cup playoffs. That’s a position they weren’t in following the setback to Carolina in early January.

Pittsburgh sat 10th overall in the Eastern Conference and three points behind eighth-seeded Carolina for a playoff spot.

However, their recent 6-2 run – culminating in the Pens’ 3-1 revenge victory against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night – has catapulted the team into the eighth spot with 55 points, and within two points of second place in the Metro Division.

“We’ve had consistency for the most part and need to continue it,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “I think that the situation we’ve been in for a while, our urgency has picked up a lot. That’s a huge difference. Being tougher on the puck and all the little details to win games. We’re more aware of those.”

“We just kept building and building slowly (after the Carolina loss),” defenseman Olli Maatta said. “But we’ve played better. I think if we keep playing the same way and fix a couple of things we’ll be all right.”

The Pens will face the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena with a chance to enter this weekend’s All-Star break on a 7-2 run for 14 of a possible 18 points. And while the Pens are only two points from second place in the Metro Division, they’re also a mere two points out from the ninth spot and a non-playoff berth. That’s how tight the standings are with 30ish games left in the season.

“It’s coming down to crunch time,” center Riley Sheahan said. “Seeing everyone in the standings and how close they are, we realize that we’re still in the battle. It’s time to get our stuff together and put together some games. I think we’ve been playing some good hockey.”

There’s no doubt the Pens are in the midst of their best stretch of hockey on the current season. So that begs the question, what has changed with the team over the past three weeks.

“Confidence,” Justin Schultz told me.

“From stringing some wins together and getting back to our style of play,” he continued, “playing fast, good puck possession, holding onto pucks in the O zone. It feels like we have the puck more than we don’t.

“Confidence is huge. We’re getting back to that winning feeling and knowing what it takes. It was a slow start, but we’re picking it up now. We should be fine.”

And that confidence couldn’t be coming at a better time.

“The season is (almost) over,” Maatta said. “We didn’t start the way we wanted. We have to have that urgency right now.”

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned forward Daniel Sprong to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Sprong, 20, scored twice and had three points in eight NHL games. He is the WBS Penguins’ leading goal scorer this season with 18 goals in 29 AHL contests. His 18 goals are tied for second-most among AHL rookies.
The Penguins return home tomorrow night to begin a four-game homestand that surrounds the All-Star Break. Pittsburgh hosts the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM ET at PPG Paints Arena.
Heading into tomorrow night, the Penguins have won three-straight home games. Evgeni Malkin (4G-3A), Phil Kessel (3G-4A) and Sidney Crosby (2G-5A) have each produced seven points during the streak. Crosby, who is tied for the NHL lead with 16 points (3G-13A) during the month of January, is riding a season-long seven-game point streak (3G-12A-15PTS). Heading into Monday’s action, only fellow Nova Scotia native Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche (9 games) has a longer active streak in the league.

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Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from the Penguins’ Friday afternoon skate in San Jose.

1. Schultz okay after crosscheck

Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz skated after he left in the third period of Thursday’s game following a crosscheck from Dustin Brown.

“I feel fine,” Schultz said. “Everything went well out there, so I’m good to go. I was pretty nervous at first, luckily all the tests went well and a good day on the ice today. I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

On the play, Schultz had fallen to his knees facing the boards and was completely defenseless when Brown skated up and leveled him from behind, sending his face into the dasher.

The Kings forward received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, as well as a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety this afternoon. However, Brown did not receive a suspension, merely receiving a fine of $10,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA.

“The league deals with that, I’m not going to comment and start anything,” Schultz said. “It is what it is. I’m not hurt, so that’s alright. I’ll be back next game.”

Evgeni Malkin also received disciplinary action for a play in the game. He was fined $5,000 for spearing Brown in the first period.

2. Pens monitoring workload

The team stayed the night in Los Angeles following their 3-1 win over the Kings and had an 11 a.m. flight to San Jose this morning. When they landed, one bus went to the team hotel while the other took Schultz, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Daniel Sprong, Ian Cole, Chad Ruhwedel, Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith to the Sharks’ practice facility for a skate.

The Penguins have been taking advantage of every opportunity they have to get rest, especially since entering the second half of the season. For this California swing, they’ve only had one full practice – on Tuesday in Anaheim – and will finish the trip without having held a morning skate for any of the three games.

“We’re obviously trying to monitor our workload and for example, this particular week, we’re in the middle of three games in four nights,” head coach Mike Sullivan explained. “We just had back-to-back games, two pretty tough games against two really good teams. To give them an opportunity to recover today, we felt as though it was really important so that we can be at our best tomorrow.”

3. WBS streaking

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins extended their season-best winning streak to 8 games with a 4-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday.

Arguably the most impressive part of that streak is that a number of WBS’ top forwards and both goaltenders they started the season with are currently with Pittsburgh: DeSmith, Jarry, Dea, Sprong and Dominik Simon.

Talking with Dea, who made his season debut on Thursday centering Tom Kuhnhackl and Ryan Reaves, he credited the entire organization from top to bottom for making it easy on guys to slot in wherever they’re needed.

“The whole organization does a great job, starting in Wheeling,” Dea said. “When guys come up they’re ready to play so it makes everything easier. In Wilkes we had good guys down there who work hard. That’s the way we play here in the Pittsburgh organization. We work hard and skate. So that’s why, I think. All three groups of players on the teams make a big group and everybody works hard and helps each other. Every time guys get called up and stuff, they’re ready to go and they know what to do.”

It also helps that WBS head coach Clark Donatelli, who is one of the absolute best people in the game, and first-year assistant coach Tim Army do a tremendous job of finding that balance between development and winning.

“They’re the best, obviously,” Dea said with a smile. “You look at Clarkie, you can’t ask for a better guy to make you feel comfortable. Always there to talk to you and make sure you’re comfortable. Obviously they’re doing a really good job down there.”

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Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins’ 5-3 loss to Anaheim…

* The Pens got off to the start they wanted. They appeared to show no signs of sluggishness despite the time change, as they had their legs under them from the drop of the puck and controlled play for most of the first period despite being outshot. They went into the first intermission with a well-earned 1-0 lead.

* Things took a turn in the second. The Ducks ended up taking a 2-1 lead off a pair of fluky goals – one off a perfect deflection; the other when Tristan Jarry’s stick got tangled up on one side of the net and prevented him from sliding over to stop a wraparound. Even though there wasn’t much the Pens could do on those, the momentum definitely shifted. The Pens started getting sloppy with the puck, giving up odd-man rushes and quality chances against, and handed the Ducks some freebies that they promptly took advantage of.

“I thought we had moments in the game where we were really good and others where we weren’t so good,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “You can’t give up four breakaways. We’re hitting shinpads, we didn’t take care of the puck in certain areas of the rink and when we don’t play a disciplined, diligent game in those areas, then you’re vulnerable. The real estate inside and outside the blue lines are so critically important to becoming a team that’s harder to play against and when we don’t take care of the puck in those areas, you’re going to run the risk of those types of plays.”

* The Pens did do a good job of battling back in the third. They pushed hard and made it a game, creating as much as they gave up. But unfortunately, the hockey gods weren’t on their side tonight as some of those fantastic chances just wouldn’t fall. “We fell short tonight, but we’ve just got to make sure we heed the lessons and I think the most important takeaway is that we’ve just got make sure that we take care of the puck in those critical areas of the rink,” Sullivan said.

* This was an interesting night on special teams. The Ducks dominated that area for the first two periods, where their fifth-ranked penalty kill was phenomenal against Pittsburgh’s top-ranked power play. They created more shorthanded than the Pens did with the extra man, and ended up getting a goal off a breakaway as a result. However, the Pens responded in the third with a pair of power-play goals from Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel to cut a 4-1 deficit to 4-3.

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The Penguins begin a three-game road trip up the West Coast in Anaheim, California.


1. The Pens have won four straight games entering tonight, and a victory against the Ducks would set a new season-high streak. Overall, the Pens are 5-1 in the month of January. “We’re playing fast. We’re playing hungry,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “We’re winning battles, we’re quick on pucks, we’re not spending a lot of time in our own end, which is nice.”

2. Crosby has recorded multiple-point efforts in all four wins, producing 3 goals, 8 assists and 11 points. Phil Kessel has also gotten on the scoresheet in each victory, tallying 3 goals, 5 assists and 8 points.

3. Crosby’s next goal will be his 400th. He will join Mario Lemieux (690) and Jaromir Jagr (439) as the only players in franchise history to reach that number. Since debuting in 2005-06, only Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (586) has scored more often than Crosby.

4. The Pens are looking to bounce back from a 4-0 shutout loss to the Ducks on Dec. 23 at PPG Paints Arena. “I think we just need to be more aggressive and just win more 1-on-1 battles,” winger Carl Hagelin said. “Last game, we just looked sluggish and we just looked like we weren’t the team we want to be. We know what we can do and that’s what we’re going to do next game.”

5. The Ducks are 20-for-21 on the penalty kill in January, ranking 3rd among NHL teams in PK percentage this month. They thwarted both of Pittsburgh’s power plays in the first meeting of the season. Meanwhile, the Pens are 7-for-18 on the man-advantage in January and are tied for 1st in the league overall.


PIT – Chad Ruhwedel  (upper body), Carter Rowney (upper body), Bryan Rust (upper body)

ANA – Patrick Eaves (Guillain-Barre syndrome), Mike Liambas (upper body)


* The Pens have the morning off after practicing on Tuesday at Honda Center. Head coach Mike Sullivan will address the media at 8 p.m. EST with lineup updates.

* The Pens recalled Jean-Sebastien Dea from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League this morning. He is the team’s third-leading scorer this season with 9 goals, 14 assists, 23 points and a plus-13 in 36 games.