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Penguins Wrap: Malkin Has Some Moments; Sullivan Gets Sour



Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

ST. LOUIS — A lot of things can be said about how the past seven days went for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Almost none of them are good.

The only positive for them in the past seven days might be that they had to play just two games, because there wasn’t much for them to like about either.

Here’s a look at a week that was equal parts forgettable and regrettable for the Pittsburgh Penguins:


With six points in his first three games, Evgeni Malkin likes his chances of winning the NHL scoring championship … assuming the league decides to call off the final six months of the season.

Members of the top two lines scored the Penguins’ first 11 goals of the season. When will the bottom-six forwards start to show up on the scoresheet?


Lars Eller is one of the Penguins’ key penalty-killers, but three games into the season, he also is their most-penalized player.

Evgeni Malkin is honored as the NHL’s No. 3 star of the week.

Former Penguins defenseman Jeff Petry loses his place in Detroit’s lineup, at least temporarily.


Although the Penguins aren’t playing all of their 12 best forwards, there’s one move that could remedy that.

What were the Penguins expecting to get from Reilly Smith when they acquired him from Vegas, and what has he given them in the early days of this season? (+)

In an exchange of minor-leaguers, the Penguins acquire defenseman Jack Rathbone and forward Karel Plasek from Vancouver for defenseman Mark Friedman and forward Ty Glover.

Defenseman Libor Hajek, who attended the Pittsburgh Penguins’ training camp on a professional tryout, signs an American Hockey League contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


Evgeni Malkin stakes the Penguins to a 1-0 lead just 53 seconds into the opening period, but the Penguins can’t maintain that momentum in what becomes a 6-3 loss in Detroit.

The Penguins’ top players were, for the most part, pretty good against the Red Wings, but a lot of their teammates weren’t. (+)

Rickard Rakell is the Penguins’ only top-six forward who didn’t record a goal during the first week of the season, but he isn’t dwelling on that. (+)

Long-time members of the Penguins’ core recognize that they’re running out of time to chase championships.

Trade talk begins to swirl around the NHL, and the Winnipeg Jets turn up in a lot of it. (+)


Mike Sullivan acknowledges that he and his staff are considering making some changes to the Penguins’ lineup.

The Penguins hardly were at their best during the loss in Detroit, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some positives in their performance. {+}

The Pittsburgh Penguins have had plenty of highs and lows in their first four games, and Mike Sullivan believes fan reaction to them underscores how passionate the team’s followers are.

Top-four defenseman Kris Letang and fourth-line center Noel Acciari do not practice because they are having injuries evaluated.

The Penguins put blue-collar winger Jansen Harkins on waivers.


Defenseman Ryan Shea has been in pro hockey for three-plus seasons, but has yet to skate a shift in the NHL. That might be about to change.

Kris Letang and Noel Acciari return to practice, and Mike Sullivan says he expects both to be available Saturday night in St. Louis.

The Penguins recall forward Radim Zohorna from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and assign Jansen Harkins there after he clears waivers.

Former Penguins winger Phil Kessel still doesn’t have a contract, but a report says there are some teams showing interest in him.


There was a lot to dislike about the Penguins’ play during their 4-2 loss in St. Louis, and Mike Sullivan didn’t hold back while discussing how he felt about it.

One of the lowlights of the Penguins’ defeat by the Blues was that they were outscored during the second period for the third game in a row.

Sidney Crosby has seen some pluses and some minuses through the first four games of the season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have made a few personnel adjustments, but it’s not certain they will be enough.