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Penguins Wrap: A Jarry Laugh & a Costly Gaffe

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Marcus Pettersson

NEWARK, N.J. — So, how did things go for the Pittsburgh Penguins over the past eight days?

Depends on how one cares to look at the past four games.

They won two and lost two others in overtime, relinquishing two potentially valuable points in the process.

Then again, they’ve taken points out of four consecutive games, something they hadn’t managed since winning seven in a row Dec. 1-15.

Here’s a look at how things have gone as they’ve moved into the second half of January:

Sunday (Jan. 15)

Jason Zucker is finally healthy and having a good season, and Ron Hextall is going to have to decide whether to try to re-sign him. There will be a lot to consider.

Forward Jonathan Gruden, acquired from Ottawa in the Matt Murray trade, is called up from the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre.

Monday

The Penguins get a late goal to force overtime against Ottawa, followed by a game-winner by Jake Guentel in s 4-3 decision over Anaheim.

Goalie Casey DeSmith says that losing to the Ducks would have been “pretty deflating.”

Mike Sullivan announces that Kris Letang, who hasn’t played since Dec. 28 because of an unspecified injury and a leave of absence in the wake of his father’s death, will rejoin the Penguins “within the next day or so.”

Tristan Jarry takes another step toward rejoining the lineup, as he faces shots from teammates during an on-ice workout before the Penguins’ game-day skate.

A source tells PHN that Ron Hextall has had trade talks with Minnesota.

Tuesday

Tristan Jarry has been out for more than two weeks since being injured during the Winter Classic Jan. 2 in Boston, but said he expects to perform at his pre-injury level as soon as he gets back in the lineup.

Radio analyst Phil Bourque says the Penguins are on a path to retire Jaromir Jagr’s No. 68. Assuming, of course, that he ever stops playing.

Wednesday

The Penguins’ penalty-killing had a miserable night in Ottawa, giving up four goals in the Senators’ 5-4 overtime victory.

Ottawa had nine power play in its victory. Not surprisingly, Mike Sullivan was not very pleased with the officiating.

Thursday

The Penguins have some exceptional offensive talents on their roster, but that doesn’t help them much when games go into overtime.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are sputtering, but Dan Kingerski says Ron Hextall has not done anything to get his team going in the right direction again.

Friday

Tristan Jarry was outstanding in his first game since being injured Jan. 2, stopping 44 of 45 shots in a 4-1 victory against Ottawa.

Brock McGinn didn’t get a point in the victory against Ottawa, but he changed the tenor of the game midway through the first period. And Jarry had plenty of reason to smile after his strong comeback performance.

Here’s a look at what McGinn did to get the game turned in the Penguins’ favor.

The Penguins made a series of personnel moves a few hours before facing the Senators, including returning Jarry and Jeff Petry to active duty.

Saturday

Kris Letang expresses gratitude for the support he received from teammates and the organization in the aftermath of his father’s death.

Mark Friedman says he’ll do “whatever it takes” to help his team be successful, and he backs up his words with actions.

Letang and injured forward Josh Archibald participated in practice, although both were ruled out of the Penguins’ game at New Jersey Sunday.

Sunday

Marcus Pettersson appeared to score a game-winning goal at 1:28 of overtime, only to have it waved off because the Pittsburgh Penguins had too many men on the ice. New Jersey got the deciding goal on the power play that resulted.

The Penguins played pretty well against the Devils. Just not well enough to earn a second point.

Pettersson didn’t realize he was guilty of an infraction in real time, but readily acknowledged his costly mistake after reviewing video of the play.

It seems certain that Vancouver will be trading Bo Horvat, but what will it cost a team to keep him around after his contract expires in a few months? (+)

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