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Penguins Wrap: Brenden Dillon’s Head Game; Celebrating Fleury



Marc-Andre Fleury

The Pittsburgh Penguins came out of the NHL’s All-Star break with an impressive burst, turning in a strong 60-minute effort in a 3-0 victory against Winnipeg.

The only real negative in that game was losing fourth-line center Noel Acciari to a concussion caused by a hit to the head from Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon.

The momentum from beating Winnipeg didn’t carry over to their visit to Minnesota three nights later, however, as the Penguins sputtered through parts of the first two periods before losing on a controversial goal by Wild center Kirill Kaprizov midway through the third period.

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


Assessing the impact of the trade that sent Sean Monahan from Montreal to Winnipeg on any deal the Penguins might consider for Jake Guentzel.

The time has come to get rid of the NHL All-Star Game.

Sidney Crosby and the rest of Team MacKinnon are eliminated in a shootout during Round 1 of the NHL’s all-star competition.


Here are six reasons the Penguins have a very real chance to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Defenseman John Ludvig says he won’t stray from his physical style, just to reduce the possibility of being injured. (+)

The Penguins sign free-agent forward Jesse Puljujarvi to a two-year contract that carries a salary-cap hit of $800,000.


Reilly Smith is capable of giving the Penguins more production than he has at times in 2023-24, and they need to have him do it.

Erik Karlsson believes the Penguins are capable of playing at a higher level than they have for much of this season.

The Penguins’ lackluster record at PPG Paints Arena is one of the reasons they’re sitting outside the Eastern Conference playoff field. (+)

There are some good reasons the Penguins might fail to get into the playoffs for the second year in a row.


Tristan Jarry records his league-leading sixth shutout in a 3-0 victory over Winnipeg.

Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon is given a match penalty after knocking Penguins center Noel Acciari out of the game with a head to the head.

Consistently elevating their compete level would enhance the Penguins’ chances of qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Penguins respond to Brenden Dillon’s match penalty by scoring twice while the Jets are down a man.


Winnipeg defenseman Brenden Dillon gets a three-game suspension for his illegal hit to the head of Noel Acciari.

Concerns about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ second line seem to be well-founded.

Former Jets winger Jansen Harkins describes Brenden Dillon’s hit on Noel Acciari as “pretty ugly.”

It’s no coincidence that when the Penguins sent bodies and pucks to the net against Winnipeg, they scored a couple of power-play goals.


Noel Acciari sits out practice after being diagnosed with a concussion, while Evgeni Malkin is given a maintenance day.

With Noel Acciari unavailable because of a concussion, Mike Sullivan is deciding whether to use Colin White or Jeff Carter at center on the fourth line. (+)

The Penguins might be facing former teammate Marc-Andre Fleury for the final time when they visit Minnesota Friday.


There’s a controversial non-call on Minnesota’s game-winning goal in its 3-2 victory at Xcel Energy Center.

Penguins players, most notably Sidney Crosby, were predictably unhappy that their challenge to the Wild’s third goal was unsuccessful.

The Penguins’ flat play during the first two periods was a major factor in their 3-2 loss at Minnesota.

The end of former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s career appears to be near. (+)

The Penguins have the inside track to third place in the Metropolitan Division.