Pittsburgh Penguins Take A Step Back In NHL Power Rankings


After defeating the Capitals 4-3 Wednesday in Washington, the Pittsburgh Penguins (35-17-9. 79 points) seek to build on their three-game winning streak Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets (26-29-4, 56 points) at CONSOL Energy Center.

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The Black and Gold have gone 6-3-1 in their last ten contests. They are in third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Pens are only one point back of the second place New York Rangers (37-16-6, 80 points), and three points behind the New York Islanders (40-20-2, 80 points). Pittsburgh remains fifth overall in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.

It will be the second game of a back-to-back for the Blue Jackets, when they face the Penguins on Sunday, as they will have played the New Jersey Devils Saturday in Columbus. They are in seventh place in the Metro Division, and 13th in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.

It is Week 20 in the NHL and the Pens have played 61 games. Here is our Tale of the Tape for Mike Johnston’s squad:

Pens At Home: 19-10-3 / On The Road: 16-7-6

NHL Eastern Conference: 23-13-7

Metropolitan Division Record: 8-11-4 / Atlantic Division Record: 15-2-3

NHL Western Conference: 12-4-2

Central Division Record: 7-2-2 / Pacific Division Record: 5-2-0

Goals Scored: 176 / Goals Allowed: 152

Power Play Percentage: 22.4 (8th In NHL) / Penalty Kill Percentage:85.6 (5th In NHL – Tied with Montreal)

The Black and Gold acquired center Daniel Winnik, 29, from the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday in exchange for center Zach Sill, a 2015 fourth-round draft pick and a 2016 second-round draft pick.

The 6-foot-2, 207-pound forward recorded seven goals and 25 points in 58 games with the Maple Leafs. He led all Toronto forwards with 50 blocked shots and was third with 99 hits this season.

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  • It was announced Thursday that My Pittsburgh TV – WPMY 22 will carry four upcoming Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins broadcasts. The WBS Pens are the American Hockey League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The four contests are Saturday, March 14 against the Hershey Bears; Saturday, March 21 against the Binghamton Senators; Saturday, April 4 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms; and Saturday, April 18 against the Norfolk Admirals. All four matchups will begin at 7 p.m.

    Let’s go to the penalty box and see what the experts around the internet are saying about the Black and Gold this week.

    Bleacher Report – This Week #10 / Last Week #8 – Jonathan Willis has been impressed with Marc-Andre Fleury’s efforts this month and wonders where the Penguins would be without him in the standings.

    CBSSports – This Week: #8 / Last Week: #9 – Chris Peters likes the return of Christian Ehrhoff to the blue line crew.

    ESPN – This Week: #12 / Last Week: #9 – Scott Burnside reminds everyone about the tight race in the Metropolitan Division and how the Pens are just a few points away from the top spot.

    FanSided – This Week: #10 / Last Week: #8 – Patrick Schmidt feels the offense has turned the corner for the Black and Gold could be a sign of good things to come.

    FOX Sports – This Week: #8 / Last Week: #10 – Craig Morgan agrees that the return of Christian Erhoff bolsters the defensive corps.

    SBNation – This Week: #11 / Last Week: #9 – Andrew Hirsh’s poll reflects the Metro Division as he has the Penguins, the Rangers, and the Islanders within four points of each other.

    SI.com – This Week #11 / Last Week #12 – The Sports Illustrated crew moved the Penguins up one knotch this week. Sarah Kwak feels the team is on the verge of breaking back into the top ten.

    USA Today – This Week #11 / Last Week #9 – The hockey writers are concerned about David Perron’s recent slump.

    Up Next: Again, the Black and Gold are home Sunday, March 1 to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. The puck is set to drop at 5 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

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