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Penguins Wrap: Defeat & Despair, Sandwiched By Delight



Pittsburgh Penguins power play, Kris Letang Erik Karlsson

The past week was a microcosm of the first quarter of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season.

It started with an inspiring victory, and ended with an encouraging one.

In between those, however, there was a disappointing defeat and a thoroughly deflating one.

Here’s a look at how the past seven days played out for the Penguins.


Hours after returning to the major-league roster, backup goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stops 38 shots in a 3-0 victory against Vegas at PPG Paints Arena.

Lots of good grades for the Penguins after they defeat the Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights.

Alex Nedeljkovic is activated from the Long-Term Injured list, and updates are given on the injuries to P.O Joseph and Vinnie Hinostroza.

Coach Mike Sullivan offers a harsh critique of the Penguins’ power play in the wake of another 0-fer performance during a loss at Carolina.


The Pittsburgh Penguins will be challenged by some pretty good teams in coming days. One of those being themselves.

Shutting out Vegas wasn’t the only thing that made Alex Nedeljkovic happy Sunday. (+)

Another strong week for Sidney Crosby earns him recognition as the NHL’s No. 3 star.


The Penguins’ No. 2 line was extremely productive during the early weeks of this season, but that’s changed since early November.

The Penguins recall forwards Alex Nylander and Jansen Harkins from their farm team in Wilkes-Barre and place right winger Rickard Rakell and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel on injured-reserve.

Defenseman Dmitri Samorukov signs a one-year contract with the Penguins.


A 0-for-5 power play and some good goaltending by Jonathan Quick of the New York Rangers add up to a 1-0 loss for the Penguins.

The Penguins played a generally good game against the Rangers, but that wasn’t enough to avoid a bad result.

First-line right winger Bryan Rust has to sit out the New York game because of an unspecified injury.


Erik Karlson and Jake Guentzel offer their perspectives on why the Penguins have been so inept on the power play for most of this season.

With his team’s power play sputtering, Mike Sullivan puts Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on separate units.

The Penguins have some obvious needs, and a few potential trade chips that could be used to address them.


A third-period collapse costs the Penguins two points in Buffalo.

The Sabres’ comeback started after a bad penalty call on Evgeni Malkin, but the Penguins didn’t do anything to pull themselves out of the downward spiral that followed.

So, Mike Sullivan has made some changes to the Penguins’ power play. The real issues are: 1) Will they work? and 2) Will they last?

Will there have to be a Penguins trade or two to get them right? (+)

Former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who wife has Indigenous roots, defies an NHL edict and wears a mask honoring Native Americans during warmups before his current team, Minnesota, plays Colorado.


The Penguins bounce back from their loss in Buffalo with a solid performance in a 3-2 victory against Toronto.

After a bit of a sluggish start, the Penguins got to the game that was needed to defeat Toronto.

Bryan Rust still isn’t ready to rejoin the lineup.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have put themselves in something of a hole as the first quarter of the regular season winds down.