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Dan’s Daily: Penguins Hold Third, Panthers Ridiculous Hot Streak

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Casey DeSmith

With some accuracy, we now see the NHL playoff brackets. The biggest variables are the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vegas Golden Knights. The Penguins held serve against the weak-kneed Detroit Red Wings, while the teams that Vegas needed to lose rallied for wins to put Vegas on the brink of elimination. After the season, Pierre-Luc Dubois could be a hot name in NHL trade rumors, and the Florida Panthers are unbeatable.

Florida is on a 1992-93 Penguins-type run.

We’ll start with the Penguins and analysis.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins extinguished what little fight Detroit had. The Penguins stars filled the net in a 7-2 win. Pittsburgh Penguins postgame.

Evgeni Malkin had two goals, but I did not think he played well until the third period. Head coach Mike Sullivan said he was solid on Saturday but dished a little criticism on Friday. The story is two-fold. The Penguins need more…now. And Malkin could be playing for his Penguins future. Evgeni Malkin uncertainty.

The Penguins have a couple of wins in a row, but they can’t shake the Bruins to guarantee they’ll stay in the Metro if Washington catches them. Boston did what few others have done and beat the New York Rangers. The Carolina Hurricanes rallied for a win, which gives them the inside track on first place and again pits the Rangers and Penguins in a 2-3 matchup.

Detroit Hockey Now: For the flip side, our buddy Kevin Allen had some harsh critiques and a dose of sarcasm for the flatlining Detroit Red Wings.

WBS Penguins: 2020 second-round pick Joel Blomqvist made his North American professional debut, but the WBS Penguins lost 3-1. WBS Penguins postgame.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Sportsnet 32 Thoughts HNIC: There are a couple of news items I think you may enjoy today. Elliotte Friedman tried to piece together the Robin Lehner situation. Is he out with a knee injury, or is he not? The Winnipeg Jets will have an offseason fraught with hard decisions. No one is safe. Pierre-Luc Dubois might price himself out of Winnipeg.

Also on Hockey Night in Canada, Erik Gudbranson discussed his NHL career and opportunity with Calgary.

“Guddy” ranks right there with Zach Aston-Reese as players I enjoyed wandering over to for a quick chat and insights.

Calgary Hockey Now: Calgary is hot. They’re bringing the heat, every pun intended, every game. Elias Lindholm scored his 40th goal and is looking pretty good for some hardware. Calgary Flames are rolling.

Florida Hockey Now: You can’t beat Florida. Not rats, not slushy ice, not even stripping Disney of its state-wide autonomy can hurt the Panthers. By all accounts, Patric Hornqvist is setting a culture, and (just like 2016?) his team is charging through the final month. Now 13 straight wins. Not even Toronto could stop them–the unbeatable Florida Panthers.

Vancouver Hockey Now: A late charge to make the playoffs looks like it will come up short. Ya can’t lose games in the final week. It’s over. A hard-fought loss to Calgary put a stake in Jim Rutherford’s Vancouver Canucks.

However, our Rob Simpson did dish some high praise for Conor Garland.

Dallas won on Saturday, which all but eliminated Vancouver and put the Vegas Golden Knights on the brink.

Now to news related to the Pittsburgh Penguins…

Philly: When the Penguins face the Flyers this afternoon, they will not see a few familiar faces. Carter Hart, Cam Atkinson, and Rasmus Ristolainen are the lucky ones. They are out of the rest of the season. The hobbled Philadelphia Flyers lineup.

Boston: Uh oh. The Bruins are healthy. David Pastrnak, Linus Ullmark, and Hampus Lindholm returned to the lineup, and the Bruins flexed their muscle against the New York Rangers. They kept pace with the Penguins at 101 points. Boston Bruins win.

Washington: The Capitals trail the Penguins by two points but didn’t play on Saturday. Ilya Samsonov has been pretty good lately–has he claimed the No. 1 job? Washington Capitals analysis.

Montreal: I didn’t do a Daily on Saturday because of the late coffee matinee. But the outpouring of emotion for the departed Guy Lafleur has been incredible and without end. He meant so much to Montreal and hockey. The tributes flowed. In a star-laden franchise, Guy Lafleur was the Montreal Canadiens.

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Mary Lurwick
Mary Lurwick
22 days ago

Our power play has been anemic but scored with Geno back in the lineup. I think they need to make Sid’s final years memorable ones. If Sid wants Geno, Tanger, Rusty, and now Rakell- make it happen. The rebuild will be painful and I don’t think we’re ready for that. LGP! See you in Philly today.

Paul
Paul
22 days ago

My hope is that the Lanche and Penguins go belly up in the playoffs again, which will improve the chances that MacKinnon and Crosby hook up somewhere and hopefully very soon. That would be a great story, especially in a league that has too few of them.

Last edited 22 days ago by Paul
Ryan
Ryan
22 days ago

RELAX. Geno played fine. Give the man a second to find his game legs again after being out for nearly 2 weeks. His line was caught a few times in the defensive zone, but never gave up a goal. High scoring chances for were higher than against. He scored 2 goals, though I don’t think the PP one should have counted.

Lifeson74
Lifeson74
21 days ago
Reply to  Ryan

Should be an interesting to see who stays and who goes on the off-season after playoffs. I hope!

Alan Smith
22 days ago

Enjoy folks the Pens are the best watch in the NHL! Talk trades and contracts in the summer! Florida might be the Pens finishing in a streak then dropping out in the first round against a team like the Isles and Montreal were! Just don’t let them play then play keep away the entire game! Boston has bruisers and can bang out a win! Pens offense is to much for the Rangers!

J Miller
19 days ago

Pens players keep making same mistakes. Taking penalties in Ozone when on PP by our captain? Then a soft goal is allowed and now we are chasing. For being one of the least penalized teams all year all of sudden penalties are coming at bad timez. Want to say they got a chance but it seems like they keep doing the same dumb shit. When is the coach gonna start holding these guys accountable. Coaches tinkering with lines way to much! Rakell and Sid Had chemistry so what does Sullivan do moves him to Genos line? Rust cant hit the… Read more »

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