Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Penguins slowly beginning to turn their season around

A successful December shed some light on the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, bolstering them back into the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Penguins looked to build on their recent play as the calendar flipped to 2024.


The Pens traveled to Boston on Thursday for a nationally televised meeting with the Bruins. The Bruins came out of the gate ready to play and caught the Penguins off guard when captain Brad Marchand scored just 41 seconds in to put the Bruins up 1-0. This was the second straight game the Penguins had allowed a goal in the first minute of play. They previously did so two nights earlier against the Washington Capitals, in which that goal was scored 55 seconds into the first period.


The Penguins responded five minutes later when Drew O’Connor put home the rebound on a shot from Kris Letang. 


Soon after, the Penguins took a 2-1 lead when a Ryan Graves shot from the blue line slid past Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman. 


The lead did not last long, as Bruin forward David Pastrnak scored just 22 seconds after Graves’ goal, tying the game once more.


However, this tied score did not hold for long either. At 12:39 in the first period, Sidney Crosby passed it to linemate Jake Guentzel who put the puck in backdoor on Swayman, making it 3-2 Penguins.


Lars Eller extended the Penguin’s lead to 4-2 at 4:02 in the first period, taking a slapshot from the right side near the goaline.


At 13:22 in the second period, Jeff Carter extended the lead even further by scoring his fifth goal of the season as the Penguin’s power play expired.

Despite the commanding 5-2 lead, the Penguins were not out of the woods quite yet. About three minutes after the Carter goal, forward Morgan Geekie sparked the Bruins offense, scoring off the rush to make it a 5-3 game.


With the second period winding down, Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo sent a slapshot from the point which was tipped in by teammate Jake DeBrusk to make it 5-4 heading into the third period. 

Just over a minute into the third, the Bruins received a delay of game penalty when defenseman Charlie McAvoy shot the puck over the glass, but that didn’t matter for the Bruins. Fumbling the puck past Kris Letang, Bruins captain Brad Marchand scored a shorthanded goal to tie up this game at 5-5.


With 8:48 remaining in the period, Charlie McAvoy caused another penalty to put the Penguins back on the power play. 


This time, the Penguins made it count. Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby carried the team on his back and scored just six seconds into the power play, putting the Penguins ahead at 6-5, a lead that remained the rest of the game. 


Penguins goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 24 saves on 29 shots to get the win in this game, putting him at 7-3-2 on the season.


The Penguins returned to Pittsburgh on Saturday to face another Atlantic division opponent: the Buffalo Sabres. 


Again, the Penguins gave up the 1-0 lead early in this first period, as Buffalo forward Alex Tuch scored about three minutes into the game.


The Penguins had thought they tied this game up on a Drew O’Connor goal, but the goal was overturned after it was deemed offsides.


The Penguins again believed they had tied the game when Jake Guentzel scored, but that goal was also called back, this time for goalie interference.


It wasn’t until 12:11 in the third period when the Penguins finally tied it up on a Rikard Rakell power play goal. 


Unfortunately, the tie did not hold and Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons scored with 4:38 left to give Buffalo the 2-1 lead.


The Sabres solidified the victory with an empty net goal from defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to take the game 3-1.


The Penguins by no means played terribly in this game, but they just weren’t able to beat Buffalo goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who made 40 saves against the Penguins.


As of Monday morning, the Penguins sit just two points outside of a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, with the final spot currently being occupied by the New Jersey Devils.

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    Rick LoveiskyJan 22, 2024 at 3:11 pm

    Hoping the Penguins can get stronger as the season winds down…It’s imperative that they hold onto Jake Guentzel and not look to trade him…As great as Crosby still is, he needs quality line mates to make the surge to the Playoffs!