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Penguins Wrap: Playoff Pulse Fades; Crosby Makes History

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Kris Letang Rickard Rakell Jake Guentzel Sidney Crosby 4/6/2023

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the past six days with a tenuous grip on a wild-card playoff spot, but relinquished it and remain outside the Eastern Conference postseason field.

They have, however, won back-to-back games and still could get in if Florida and/or the New York Islanders stumble in their two remaining games.

Assuming, of course, the Penguins — who, because of the regulation-victories tiebreaker, need one of those clubs to drop at least two points — win their games against Chicago Tuesday and at Columbus Thursday.

Here’s a look back at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ past six days.

Monday

The Penguins should give goalie Tristan Jarry every start the rest of the way to get him ready for the playoffs — assuming they qualify.

It remains to be seen whether the Pittsburgh Penguins will have enough points — and heart — to qualify for the playoffs. (+)

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

The Penguins return forward Alex Nylander to their farm team in Wilkes-Barre.

Tuesday

A completely uninspired performance during a 5-1 loss in New Jersey costs the Penguins their wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff field.

The Penguins started badly against the Devils, and things never improved.

Injured defenseman Marcus Pettersson participated in the Penguins’ game-day skate in Newark. (+)

Goalie Joel Blomqvist signs an amateur tryout contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Wednesday

Marc-Andre Fleury will enter Minnesota’s game against the Penguins Thursday with a chance to effectively end their chances of getting into the playoffs.

The Penguins signed goalie Joel Blomqvist, a second-round draft choice in 2020, to an entry-level contract.

The Penguins recalled Alex Nylander from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while the NHL fined Mark Friedman for embellishment.

Penguins players were predictably subdued after their defeat by the Devils.

Video Q&A: Fans are predictably unhappy with the Penguins’ performance in their loss at New Jersey.

Thursday

Kris Letang says it was “kind of weird” to score a goal against longtime friend and former teammate Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Penguins record an impressive 4-1 victory against Minnesota, but fail to gain ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Penguins entered the game against Minnesota expecting Marc-Andre Fleury to “be himself” when he faced them.

Defenseman Owen Pickering, the Penguins’ top prospect, is having a rough introduction to professional hockey. (+)

Friday

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ prospects of qualifying for the playoffs have become less than a 50-50 proposition.

Yes, they did it again. Alex Nylander returns from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on an emergency recall.

Video Q&A: Is the Penguins’ playoff push too little, too late?

Saturday

Sidney Crosby reaches a major milestone and the Penguins pick up two badly needed points with a 5-1 victory in Detroit.

Sidney Crosby and Tristan Jarry are the driving forces behind the Penguins’ victory at Little Caesars Arena. (+)

Becoming the 15th player in NHL history to hit 1,500 points was nice, but Sidney Crosby had a more pressing concern after the game.

Matthew Tkachuk’s late goal lifts the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 victory in Washington, preserving their one-point lead over the Penguins in the playoff race.