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The Pittsburgh Penguins team led by Captain Sidney Crosby celebrating a goal in Vegas against the Golden Knights
Photo credit: Pittsburgh Penguins - NHL

Crucial Week Ahead for the Pittsburgh Penguins as the League Heads into the All-Star break

Published January 22, 2024 at 1:02 PM
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Looking so far at this year's Pittsburgh Penguins team, there is some good and some bad. Over the past month they have had one of the best records in the Eastern Conference. That has propelled them into playoff contention. That is good.

On the other hand, they have had their fair share of points that were left on the table taken away by other teams. They have allowed teams back into games, and walked away with a point instead of two. They also have fell apart like in Saturday's game against the Golden Knights, taking a 2-0 lead in the third, to loss 3-2 in regulation. That is bad.

They have played this good/bad type of hockey all season, it has kept them pretty balanced out to be right where they are, in the middle.

The Penguins Need to Finish the First Half Strong Before the Break and A Very Condensed Second Half Schedule




With having just three games left before the break, this can set the tone for the second half.

Arizona has show a lot of resilience sticking around as well in the playoff race with the help of their goalie Connor Ingram. Ingram has given them a chance in many games with a .919 save percentage. With him in goal they are 16-9-1 as opposed to Karel Vejmelka's 6-10-1 record. Most of their offense runs through Clayton Keller, on pace for at least 75 points this year.

The Penguins won their first meeting at PPG Arena 4-2, and that was a big win for the Pens, coming off an early season draught. Hopefully Monday night they can start with another win in Arizona to carry them into the next three games.

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Next for the Penguins, they head back home with a couple of days before two tough back to back games against the Florida Panthers and then Montreal Canadians.

Florida is up first on Friday night, and probably that is a good thing for the Penguins, coming in with fresh legs against a very good Eastern Conference opponent. Although the Panthers are coming in with 4 straight losses as of Monday morning, they have one of the leagues most explosive offenses.

Sam Reinhart is leading the team with 33 goals, tying his most in a season (in a contract year for him as well) and well on his way to shattering his season high in points. The Panthers won their first game with the Pens 3-1, in a contest where the PP for the Penguins did not perform well.

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And Finally the Penguins meet with the Canadians for the second time this season after the team enjoyed a lengthy shootout victory in Montreal. The Habs are in a rebuilding type of year, but have done well staying competitive with their three goal tandum of Sam Montembeault, Jake Allen and Caydn Primeau.

The Penguins should, and possibly need to, walk away with 4 points this week. They need a win and hopefully rebound after the disappointment in Vegas, against Arizona. With the Florida and Montreal games back-to-back any combination of 2 points would work to hopefully keep some solid momentum going into the long break.

The Penguins will return to action after the break on February 6th against the Winnepeg Jets in Pittsburgh.

As Read On: PensBurgh - The week ahead: Penguins need strong week going into All-Star break
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Crucial Week Ahead for the Pittsburgh Penguins as the League Heads into the All-Star break

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