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Penguins Wrap: From Bad to Worse to … Awfully Good



Teddy Blueger slump-ending goal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The eight-day stretch that concluded Sunday couldn’t have started much worse — or ended much better for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A soul-crushing loss to the New York Islanders and a flat-out spanking by Edmonton led to the Penguins falling out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot, but victories in St. Louis Saturday and a blowout of Tampa Bay Sunday lifted them back into one.

They’ll still be holding it when they face the Predators here Tuesday at 8:08 p.m. Eastern Tuesday, but their grip on it will be far from secure.

Here’s a look at how the past eight days have gone for the Penguins:

Sunday (Feb. 19)

To borrow Chuck Noll’s epic description of running back Sidney Thornton, the Penguins have many problems, and they are great. Here’s a hard look at some of them.


It’s a tough question, but seems like a fair one to ask: Are enough Penguins players truly invested in winning games? (+)

This script is getting to be all-too-familiar for the Penguins, as they blow another third-period lead against the New York Islanders.

Mike Sullivan distilled the Penguins’ showing in their 4-2 defeat to a simple sentence: “Instead of finding a way to win, we found a way to lose.”


A Western Conference source tells Dan Kingerski that the Penguins have made it known they will listen to offers for Jeff Petry.

It would be unconventional, but there’s at least one thing the Penguins can do to try to get Jeff Carter rested and ready for the stretch drive and playoffs. (+)

Jason Zucker says the Penguins “need to be a little more driven” if they expect to start performing to their potential.


Sidney Crosby has an idea of what the Penguins must do to get their season back on track.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Connor McDavid is a pretty fair hockey player.

Both members of the No. 2 defense pairing, Jeff Petry and Marcus Pettersson, are absent from practice.


The Penguins scored the first goal. Edmonton scored the next seven. How do you think this one turned out for the home team?

If this is as good as the Pittsburgh Penguins can be, they should be sellers, not buyer, at the trade deadline.

Jason Zucker knows how the Penguins should react to their lopsided loss: “Throw this one away as quick as possible.’


Ron Hextall lays out his approach to the NHL trade deadline during a rare meeting with reporters.

Mike Sullivan says the Penguins “didn’t find a way to maximize” the potential of winger Kasperi Kapanen, who has been placed on waivers.

A business decision by Warner Bros. Discovery will lead to the end of AT&T SportsNet and spawns a lot of doubt about the future of Penguins TV broadcasts.

Penguins fans propose trades the team should make before the March 3 deadline.


It wasn’t easy — when’s the last time anything was for this team — but Bryan Rust’s goal at 1:16 of overtime gave the Penguins their first victory in five games.

The Penguins did a lot of things well against the Blues, and Rust believes this game should provide a template for how they play the rest of the way.

Kasperi Kapanen and his $3.2 million salary-cap hit get a new home, as St. Louis claims him off waivers.

The Penguins are far from guaranteed to get into the playoffs for the 17th consecutive year, but here are some reasons to believe they will. (+)

Tristan Jarry acknowledges that he’s still getting used to game conditions after his extended time off.


The Pittsburgh Penguins did a lot of things that Mike Sullivan wanted them to against Tampa Bay, and were rewarded with a 7-3 victory. (+)

The Penguins haven’t fared very well this season when playing on consecutive days. That wasn’t a problem in this one, however.

The salary-cap space cleared by Kapanen’s departure could give Hextall some additional options as the trade deadline closes is.