The Pittsburgh Penguins look good in a back-to-back situation, and we are not talking about Lord Stanley this time.
This year, Pittsburgh has not been successful in situations where they have games in consecutive nights. Some like to say it is the stamina and others like to say the other teams this year are just better. The Pittsburgh Penguins though, just like their fans, stay together and have hope.
With a great team in the AHL and a better looking team in the NHL, it is safe to say the Penguins are looking good in the division.
Both Lemieux and Burkle have really picked a great set of scouts and general managers over the last couple of years. Ray Shero and his team helped the Pens get to both the 2008 and 2009 Stanley Cup Championships. Jim Rutherford picked up where Shero had left off and helped lead the team to victories in both 2016 and 2017.
They had the help of Sheary, Rust, and Kuhnhackl in 2016 and the help of record breaking Jake Guentzel in 2017. This year, we have seen Hobey-Baker award finalist Zach Aston-Reese and high-hope winger Daniel Sprong.
Aston-Reese has been a big help to this Penguins team since being called up over a week ago. He has four goals in his last four games and has helped the team during their five game win streak.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Saturday night the Penguins played a tough Toronto Maple Leafs team at home but managed to get the 5-3 win. The Penguins, Powered by a three-point night from Malkin and incredible net minding from Matt Murray. They also were able to able to look past a game tying PPG from Marleau and secure the victory with an Olli Maatta goal with just over 12 minutes left to play in the third.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The next night the Penguins only made one change to the line up, Tristan Jarry starts in net. The Penguins managed another big victory, this time against a division rival and in enemy territory. The Penguins this year have been nothing shy of terrible in back-to-back game situations. So getting this win was a must, and would also allow the Pens to attain the division lead. The Penguins this time, were lead by two first period Riley Sheahan goals. Tristan Jarry managed to make 35 saves on 37 shots during the 5-2 victory.
It is safe to say the Penguins are heating up, and at the right time. The trade deadline is Feb. 26, so there is still time to seal up a couple of loose pieces. The Pittsburgh Penguins though, have found their third line center.