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Penguins Wrap: The Inevitable Gets Closer; Crosby Chases History



Dallas Stars celebrate goal 3/22/24

The Pittsburgh Penguins started and finished the past seven days the same way: By losing to one of the better teams in the NHL.

In between those defeats by the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars, they split a pair of games against a couple of clubs that, like themselves, are trying to claw their way into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Then again, the Penguins don’t have a realistic chance of qualifying for postseason play. given how they’ve struggled and sputtered during most of the past month.

Here’s a look at how their past week played out:


Artemi Panarin torches the Penguins for five points in the New York Rangers’ 7-4 victory at PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins played hard against New York, but made too many mistakes to have a real chance of winning.

An ill-considered penalty by Kris Letang was a pivotal point in New York’s victory.

Michael Bunting has gotten a solid start with the Penguins since being acquired from Carolina in the Jake Guentzel trade.


The Penguins keep their playoff hopes alive by beating Detroit.

The Penguins play well in a game against the Red Wings that they really couldn’t afford to lose.

The loss to the Rangers again exposed the shortcomings of the Penguins’ defense corps.


The Penguins’ defensive performance against Detroit was much better than the one against the Rangers a day earlier.

The Penguins’ third line, with Lars Eller between Reilly Smith and Valtteri Puustinen, has been playing well.


The Penguins manage to overcome another miserable start, but still are beaten by New Jersey at Prudential Center.

The urgency the Penguins needed in their game against the Devils was missing for a lot of the evening.

New Jersey’s team speed was just one of the key factors in the Penguins’ loss. (+)

Sidney Crosby is on pace to finish at a point-per-game pace or better for the 19th season, which would tie Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record.

Former Penguins winger Konstantin Koltsov commits suicide.

Fourth-line forward Jeff Carter is sidelined with an unspecified upper-body injury.

The Penguins recall forward Jonathan Gruden from their farm team in Wilkes-Barre and send defenseman Jack St. Ivany there.


Mike Sullivan deserves to be asked some tough questions about his performance and future.

The game in New Jersey was lost largely because the Penguins failed to win the battles around both nets.


The Pittsburgh Penguins are entering a three-game stretch against quality opponents that could effectively end whatever hopes they have of qualifying for the playoffs.

An assessment of questions that should be asked about Mike Sullivan after the season draws a mixed reaction from readers.

Injured forward Jeff Carter skates before the Penguins’ practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.


The Penguins pay for their sluggish start to the second period in a 4-2 loss in Dallas.

Penguins players seem to recognize that their chances of qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs are gone.

The Penguins will hold their fourth annual “Pride Night” when Carolina visits PPG Paints Arena Tuesday.