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Penguins Wrap: Still Following Crooked Road to Playoffs



Mike Sullivan 4/2/23

The week that ended Sunday was the 2022-23 season in microcosm for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

There was an embarrassing defeat by a lackluster team and a stinging loss to an exceptional one, along with a couple of victories that kept them in the midst of the battle for a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff field.

Here’s a look back at the past eight days:

Sunday (March 26)

How do the schedules of other teams competing for the Eastern Conference wild-card spots compare to that of the Penguins? (+)

Video chat: Should Penguins stick with Casey DeSmith in goal?


Jeff Carter is excused from practice, while Jeff Petry takes part in it.

Alex Nylander says he’s willing to play center, if the Penguins want to use him there.

Penguins players believe that having to battle to get into the playoffs could turn out to be a good thing.


Stressful as it might be, Penguins fans are enjoying this battle for a playoff berth and want them to get in, right?

Detroit scores three times late in regulation to defeat the Penguins, 7-4, at Little Caesars Arena.

The Penguins start badly (and finish pretty much the same way) in their defeat by the Red Wings.

Penguins get the loss that they deserve in Detroit. (+)

Injured defenseman Jeff Petry receives clearance to return to the lineup.


The Penguins’ penchant for self-destruction is hard to miss.

Video: Predictably enough, Penguins fans are not happy with how things are going.

Some late-game heroics allow the Florida Panthers to win, 3-2, in overtime in Toronto and climb within one point of the Penguins.


No matter how this season finishes, the Pittsburgh Penguins have to make major changes this summer.

Nashville goalie Juuse Saros makes it tough, but Tristan Jarry earns a 28-save shutout and the Penguins pull out a 2-0 victory at PPG Paints Arena.

Penguins make the grade in their victory against the Predators. (+)

Jason Zucker plans to give Brian Dumoulin more than a thank-you for deftly setting up his goal.

Defenseman Owen Pickering, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first-round draft choice in 2022, is assigned to their farm team in Wilkes-Barre after his junior season ends.

The Penguins have perfect attendance at their game-day skate.

The Florida Panthers keep pace with the Penguins by picking up a 5-2 victory in Montreal.


Failing to protect third-period leads has cost the Pittsburgh Penguins a lot of points this season. (+)

Injured defensemen Marcus Pettersson and Jan Rutta work out on the ice before the Penguins practice, and Rutta joins the team for its workout.

The Penguins swap prospects with Anaheim, acquiring defenseman Thimo Nickl.


David Pastrnak’s hat trick, including a goal late in the third period, lifts Boston over the Penguins, 4-3.

There were plenty of missed opportunities in the Penguins’ loss to the Bruins. (+)

Evgeni Malkin insists the Penguins’ failure to generate many shots when they had power plays against Boston wasn’t by design.

The Florida Panthers maul Columbus, 7-0, to overtake the Penguins for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff field.


The Penguins regain control of their playoff fate with a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia.

Yeah, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Flyers, but they didn’t play their best game to do it. (+)

Evgeni Malkin and Philadelphia goalie Samuel Ersson both had some, uh, challenging moments at PPG Paints Arena.

Kris Letang appeared in his 1,000th NHL game Sunday.

The Penguins entered the Flyers game knowing that they had to win four of their final six games to be fairly certain of getting into the playoffs.