Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief Dan Kingerski and good friend to PHN Paul Zeise of 93-7 the Fan teamed up on Friday evening following the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils to break down the Penguins down then up week.
As he often does, Ziese had Kingerski as a guest on the Fan’s evening show to chat about the Penguins’ undeniably surprising and unique season.
After a couple of losses, one to the Boston Bruins and one to the New York Rangers, Penguins fans held their breath, and there was boisterous angst in the fanbase.
“We cautioned everyone; the Penguins would probably lose a couple of games this week,” Kingerski said. “…You can’t gain points in 12 of 14 games and win five in a row without a little dip.”
The Penguins won their second game in two nights when they raced to a 5-2 lead but then hung on for a 6-4 win, including Bryan Rust’s empty-net goal.
Sidney Crosby had three points (1g, 2a), and Rust had a pair of goals. The Penguins pulled further ahead of the playoff line in the East Division. They now lead the Philadelphia Flyers by 12 points. Philadelphia has two games in hand and faces the Boston Bruins on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Penguins’ magic number is down to 23 points. Any combination of the Flyers losing points or the Penguins gaining points reduces the number. According to playoffstatus.com, the Penguins are now a 99% lock to make the franchise’s 15th straight playoff appearance.
The Penguins also lead the New York Rangers by 11 points and have played only one more game than the Rangers.
The Pittsburgh Penguins get the New Jersey Devils again on Sunday as part of an extended road trip in which they play eight of nine games on the road. The NHL trade deadline is Monday at 3 p.m, so be sure to follow Pittsburgh Hockey Now for continuing coverage, too.
There were technical difficulties, and Zeise was also on the phone. We’re told Kingerski had to fill longer stretches, so more in-depth answers from Dan: