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Penguins Wrap: Defeats & Despair, a Flicker of Hope



Mike Sullivan behind Penguins bench

The Pittsburgh Penguins opened the past seven-day stretch by losing three games in four days, making their chances of returning to the Stanley Cup playoffs even more remote.

Still, they were able to hang on the periphery of the playoff race by beating the worst team in the league Thursday, a day that began with news that a much-anticipated promotional giveaway had to be called off because a crime on the other side of the continent.

Strange? Absolutely.

Welcome to the 2023-24 Penguins season.

Here’s a look at how the past week played out for them:


The Penguins played hard, but still couldn’t avoid a 5-1 defeat by Boston at TD Garden.

Effort wasn’t the issue in the Penguins’ loss to the Bruins.

President of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas acknowledges that there was displeasure inside the organization with the decision to trade Jake Guentzel.


Edmonton outclasses the Penguins en route to a resounding 4-0 victory at PPG Paints Arena.

Edmonton’s win was the latest in a series of lifeless performances by the Penguins.

The Penguins are on a three-game losing streak and been shut out in two of those defeats.


Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is facing one of the biggest challenges of his NHL career. (+)

It’s time for the Penguins to see what some of their American Hockey League prospects can do at this level.

Canadian TV reporter Elliotte Friedman suggests on his podcast that the Penguins might trade Erik Karlsson to Ottawa.

The Penguins place forward Jonathan Gruden on waivers.


Jake Sanderson’s overtime goal gives Ottawa a 2-1 victory over the Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Penguins turned in yet another sluggish performance during their defeat in Ottawa.

Mike Sullivan reconfigured the Penguins’ forward combinations during their game-day skate.

Adding Jake Guentzel has made the Carolina Hurricanes the betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

Jonathan Gruden clears waivers and is assigned to the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre.

The Penguins recall defenseman Ryan Shea from Wilkes-Barre shortly before the game against the Senators.


Management can’t afford to miss the clear message delivered by the Penguins’ 1-6-1 skid.

There’s at least one provision that Sidney Crosby’s future contracts should include.


The Penguins overcome a terrible start to pull out of a 0-3-1 skid with a 6-3 victory against San Jose at PPG Paints Arena.

Lower-profile guys, including Noel Acciari and John Ludwig, played prominent roles in the victory over the Sharks.

As if things haven’t been going badly enough for the Penguins, a shipment of Jaromir Jagr bobbleheads that was to be distributed at the Sharks game was stolen in California.

Erik Karlsson shrugs off speculation in Canada that the Penguins might look to trade him to Ottawa, his original NHL team.

Kyle Dubas explains when he finalized the decision to trade Jake Guentzel.


John Ludvig, who scored his first career game-winner in the Sharks game, had a simple explanation for the Penguins’ miserable performance in much of the first period.

Beating San Jose has given the Pittsburgh Penguins a renewed sense of hope about challenging for a playoff berth.

Defenseman Jack St. Ivany, recalled from the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre, is a defensive defenseman who could add some physicality to their blue line.