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Penguins Wrap: New Year, Same Old Problems; Fleury Makes History



Drew O'Connor and Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman

The first week of 2024 had a little bit of almost everything for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But one thing it didn’t have many of for them was points, as they managed to take two out of three games, two of which were losses on home ice.

Which means they picked up as many points as they had goals disallowed in their 3-1 loss to Buffalo Saturday.

Here’s a look back at how new year started for them:


The Penguins stretch their hot streak to 7-1-1 with a 3-1 victory against the New York Islanders at PPG Paints Arena.

It’s become clear that the formula the Penguins followed in their win over the Islanders — excellent goaltending (this time, by Alex Nedeljkovic) and a team-wide commitment to sound defense — is one they should employ on a regular basis.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback makes a fashion statement of sorts by wearing a Sidney Crosby sweater to his team’s game in Philadelphia.


The Penguins’ play during their recent surge in the standings might not always be pretty, but Mike Sullivan doesn’t mind.


The Penguins spot Washington a 4-0 lead at PPG Paints Arena in what would become a 4-3 defeat.

Tristan Jarry, who was pulled after giving up three goals in less than a period, and Ryan Graves had particularly tough games against the Capitals.

Sidney Crosby insists he doesn’t know the story behind Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray wearing a Crosby sweater to the Cardinals’ game in Philadelphia, where Crosby is less than beloved. And where he wins a lot, as Arizona did.

Bryan Rust is activated from the Long-Term Injured list after sitting out 10 games.


Ryan Graves’ disappointing season continued with a poor performance against the Capitals.

The Penguins drop Ryan Graves to the No. 3 pairing, put defenseman John Ludvig on injured reserve and recall Ryan Shea from their farm team in Wilkes-Barre.

There was a lot to digest in the wake of the game against the Washington Capitals. (+)

Reilly Smith hasn’t been bad in his first season with the Penguins, but his game has been missing at least one quality that Mike Sullivan wants. (+)


The Penguins were unable to protect a three-goal lead in Boston, but claimed a 6-5 victory on a Sidney Crosby goal in the third period.

Mike Sullivan calls Sidney Crosby “the heartbeat of our team” after his latest game-saving heroics.

Fourth-line left winger Matt Nieto is expected to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on his right knee.

Here’s the least surprising news of the week: Sidney Crosby is selected to represent the Penguins at the 2024 NHL All-Star Game.

Free-agent winger Jesse Puljujarvi agrees to a professional tryout contract with the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre.

That loss to Washington Tuesday put a dent in the Penguins’ odds of qualifying for the playoffs.


Sidney Crosby is putting together a stellar season that makes him a worthy contender for the Hart Trophy, even if some people in the hockey world haven’t recognized it yet.


The Pittsburgh Penguins have two goals disallowed in the first period of what becomes a 3-1 loss to Buffalo at PPG Paints Arena.

Here’s the real-time story about Jake Guentzel’s disallowed goal.

Mike Sullivan made it clear that he did not agree with the decision to disallow Guentzel’s goal.

The Penguins did a lot of things right against the Buffalo Sabres, but that didn’t translate to a victory.

Minnesota goalie Marc-Andre Fleury records his 551st career victory, tying Patrick Roy for second place on the NHL’s all-time list. (

Rookie winger Valtteri Puustinen loves playing in games … but he could do without practices.

The Penguins trade blue-collar winger Rem Pitlick to Chicago for a conditional seventh-round draft choice.