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Penguins Wrap: Jagr’s No. 68 Goes Up; Playoff Hopes Go Down



Jaromir Jagr

The Pittsburgh Penguins added a chapter to their history last Sunday by retiring Jaromir Jagr’s number, making him the third player in franchise history to be so honored.

A few hours later, they put another hurdle in their path to a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs by failing to protect a lead late in the third period of what became a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles.

They made a late-game comeback of their own two days later, rallying from a two-goal deficit to force overtime before falling to the New York Islanders, on the first goal of the season for defenseman Adam Pelech.

The Penguins regained their equilibrium a bit Thursday by beating Montreal, 4-1, in the third game of a four-game homestand, but remain far removed from a spot in the postseason.

Here’s a look at how the past week played out for the Penguins:


Jaromir Jagr, in town for a ceremony to retire his No. 68, goes on the ice for part of the Penguins’ practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

Penguins players savor having an opportunity to practice with Jaromir Jagr. (+)


The Penguins allow two goals in the final 6:11 of regulation, including a shorthanded game-winner, as a late-game lead mutates into a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles.

The Penguins’ defeat by the Kings was just the latest in a series of self-inflicted losses this season.

As his number-retiring ceremony approaches, Jaromir Jagr explains why he was able to play into his 50s.

The Penguins hope that undersized forward Matthew Phillips, acquired off waivers from Washington, will be able to help them generate some offense.

The Penguins activate Jansen Harkins from injured-reserve and assign Jonathan Gruden and Vinnie Hinostroza to Wilkes-Barre.


Bryan Rust says the Penguins “can’t be letting things like (the Los Angeles game) happen.”

Mike Sullivan reconfigures the Penguins’ defense pairings and a couple of forward lines.

The Penguins face some tough realities in the wake of their loss to the Kings.

The Penguins’ traditionally productive offense has lost much of its scoring touch in 2023-24.


This time, the Penguins are the team that makes a late-game rally, but they still fall to the New York Islanders, 5-4, in overtime.

Evgeni Malkin has a good game, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Penguins past New York.

Alex Nedeljkovic offers an unflattering assessment of his work against the Islanders.

P.O Joseph goes from being a healthy scratch to working alongside Kris Letang on the No. 1 defense pairing.

Goalie Magnus Hellberg is recalled from the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre.


Kyle Dubas discusses everything from whether Jake Guentzel has a future with the Penguins to what role the Penguins’ veteran core will be counted on to serve in coming years.

If Kyle Dubas decides to make the Penguins a seller between now and the March 8 trade deadline, his efforts could be complicated by how many players have no-movement and no-trade clauses in their contracts.

Mike Sullivan liked some parts of the Penguins’ performance in their overtime loss to the Islanders … but not the outcome.

Speculation about potential trades involving the Pittsburgh Penguins are swirling almost everywhere — except in the Penguins’ locker room. (+)

Here’s a video examination of Mike Sullivan’s performance as coach.

The Penguins put bottom-six forward Colin White on waivers.

A TV report in Canada says some teams have shown interest in trading for Penguins winger Reilly Smith.


The Penguins didn’t play their best game of the season, but did it well enough to earn a 4-1 victory against Montreal.

Tristan Jarry plays a prominent role in the Penguins’ victory over the Canadiens.

The Penguins acquire winger Emil Bemstrom from Columbus for Alex Nylander and a 2026 draft choice.

Kyle Dubas is willing to risk a third-round draft choice that Emil Bemstrom will be able to help the Penguins’ offense. (+)

Evgeni Malkin admits he no longer is the player he once was. Now, it’s time for him to change the player that he is.

Montreal claims Colin White off waivers hours before facing the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.


Marcus Pettersson isn’t a fighter, but has made a habit of taking on some of the NHL’s toughest players.

Alex Nedeljkovic and Reilly Smith are among the Pittsburgh Penguins players for whom there might be a market as the NHL trade deadline approaches.