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Penguins Postgame: Carter, Big Changes, Favorite Moments



Pittsburgh Penguins, Dan Kingerski

ELMONT, NY — The Pittsburgh Penguins put the ribbon on one of the most disappointing, frustrating, and yet wildly interesting seasons in the franchise’s 56-year history. It ended as a few before it have, with a loss to the New York Islanders.

And Jeff Carter’s retirement.

Each team had goals overruled, but the Islanders scored a pair of power-play goals, one near the end of the second period and one on the power play for coach Mike Sullivan’s unsuccessful challenge early in the third.

Like the preseason games back in September, the score was largely irrelevant except for good feelings and individual performances. For the record, the final was 5-4 Islanders.

With some poetic pentameter, Carter scored the tying goal midway through the third period. It wasn’t the prettiest goal that “Big Jeff Carter” ever scored, but it was his 11th of the season and 442nd of his 19-year career.

Of course, the Islanders also scored late in the third period. It seems the Islanders breaking the Penguins’ heart is a script more recycled than any sitcom trope.

Game 82 was probably as spirited as the heartbroken Penguins could be. They got after it with enthusiasm, though not always the strictest attention to detail.

For the final time this season, PHN’s Dan Kingerski did the postgame Q&A from the arena. Kingerski didn’t spend much time with the game but rather tackled some of the bigger issues and reader’s questions (submitted via X). From Alex Nedeljkovic and Tristan Jarry’s future, Joel Blomqvist’s role in next year’s goaltending tandem, Sidney Crosby’s chances at the Hart Trophy, the possibility of terminating coaches, Kyle Dubas’s top offseason priorities, trading Ryan Graves, and Dan’s favorite season memories.