Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh penguins’

On the strength of a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday evening, the Washington Capitals clinched top spot in the Metropolitan Division for the third consecutive season.

The victory also pushed the Caps over the 100-point barrier, marking the seventh time they’ve reached the mark since 2008-09.

After back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy campaigns – and consecutive second-round playoff exits at the hands of the Penguins – many expected the Caps to take a step back this season after losing several key contributors via free agency.

In spite of the tweaked roster, the Capitals have maintained their reputation as contenders, and will play the top-seeded wild-card team (currently the Philadelphia Flyers) and hold home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Advertisements

The Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly traded for Derick Brassard on Friday, landing the centerman from the Ottawa Senators, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Heading Ottawa’s way in the deal are defenseman Ian Cole, goaltending prospect Filip Gustavsson, and a first-round pick in 2018.

Brassard is an experienced centerman with legit goal-scoring ability. His playoff point production – 55 points in 78 games – and toughness will be a solid addition up the middle for the Penguins. Through 58 games this campaign, he’s notched 18 goals and 20 assists.

As for Cole, the 29-year-old Michigan native is a 2007 first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues who has three goals and 10 assists in 17:37 of ice time per night this season.

However, don’t expect him to remain with the Senators long, as TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting the team intends to flip Cole before Monday’s trade deadline.

Despite sitting fifth in league scoring and remaining on pace to shatter his previous career-high points total, Phil Kessel isn’t caught up in the hoopla of individual accolades.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star winger has 66 points in 59 games and an outside chance at catching Nikita Kucherov (76 points) in the race for the Art Ross Trophy, but the self-proclaimed hard-working, hockey-loving nice guy has his focus set elsewhere.

“I don’t care. I’ve got two Cups,” Kessel said when asked about the pursuit of the scoring title, per Pens Inside Scoop.

Kessel has been one of the league’s hottest players in the New Year, recording 24 points in 19 games since the calendar flipped to 2018. The 30-year-old’s surge is one of the main reasons the Pens have been unstoppable of late, going 14-4-1 in that span.

Move over, Jaromir. Next up, Mario.

Sidney Crosby moved past Jaromir Jagr and into sole possession of second place on the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ all-time points list when he set up Dominik Simon‘s first-period goal against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

It was Crosby’s 1,080th career point in his 833rd game with the Penguins. Jagr racked up 1,079 in 806 contests in Pittsburgh.

Mario Lemieux is the Penguins’ all-time points leader, having amassed 1,723 in 915 games.

Crosby is also on the verge of another milestone, currently sitting on 399 career goals.

He added two more assists after his milestone helper as the Penguins doubled up the Wild 6-3 on Thursday.

Matt Murray returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday following the death of his father last week.

“I just want to say a big thanks first of all to Pittsburgh,” Murray said. “I want to thank my team – they did a lot for me and helped me get home.”

He appears ready to get right back out there, with Pittsburgh scheduled to play twice before the All-Star break.

“Hockey definitely took a back seat for a couple days, but when you’re out there, it’s kind of a sanctuary,” he added.

As for when he’ll return to action, that’s yet to be determined.

“It’s great to see him on the ice and join the team,” said head coach Mike Sullivan. “I will have a conversation with him this afternoon but we will take it day by day.”

Prior to his absence, Murray posted a record of 15-12-1 with a .903 save percentage.

Put the phone down, rival general managers.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have no plans to deal top defenseman Kris Letang, sources told Josh Yohe of The Athletic.

Reports surfaced that the Penguins could consider moving the blue-liner in an effort to shake things up, with the club currently sitting three points outside of a playoff spot.

However, according to Yohe, it does not appear Letang will be used as the bargaining chip to improve the Penguins. The defenseman sits fourth in team scoring with 25 points in 37 games.

With the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaching, general manager Jim Rutherford has little time to fix a club that has won the last two Stanley Cups. Should the Penguins miss the postseason, they’ll be the first defending champions to do so since the Los Angeles Kings failed to qualify in 2015.

As for Letang, he was placed on injured reserve Thursday with a lower-body ailment. The injury-riddled blue-liner missed the entirety of the playoffs last season after he underwent neck surgery.

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford put in a busy day before the NHL’s roster freeze comes into effect, manufacturing a pair of trades.

The more notable of the two deals is the acquisition of defenseman Jamie Oleksiak for the Dallas Stars in exchange for a conditional 2019 fourth-round pick. Oleksiak’s played 21 games this season, averaging 15 minutes per night while contributing one goal and two assists.

Because Pittsburgh owns two fourth-rounders in 2019, the Stars will take the earlier of the two picks.

In their other move, the Pens nabbed goaltender Michael Leighton and a 2019 fourth-round pick for forward Josh Archibald, netminder Sean Maguire, and a sixth-round pick the same year.

Leighton, 36, has played seven games in the NHL since taking the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010.