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Crosby's milestone not enough to get past Dallas

March 24, 2023, 1:59 PM ET [113 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Penguins dropped a 3-2 decision to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. Pittsburgh played well and considering they were on the second night of a back to back missing four starting defensemen they played really well. We’ve seen numerous games this year where the team played well enough to win and ultimately didn’t get the goals they needed. This was another one to add to the pile.

The Dallas Stars are a first-place team and earning a 54.48 xGF% against them given the Penguins situation was a good honest effort. Still, you don’t get style points this time of year and the Penguins need actual standings points. Last night was the final game in hand the Penguins had on the Islanders. The Islanders currently hold a two-point edge on the Penguins. They did catch a break with the Panthers losing last night. Each of the three teams is at 72 games played. Islanders have 82 points, Penguins have 80, and the Panthers have 79. Per MoneyPuck the playoff odds are 85.2% for the Islanders, 63.8% for the Penguins, and 47% for the Panthers. There are no head to head matchups left in the ten remaining games. Should be a tight finish.

Before the game it was announced Dustin Tokarski was going to be an emergency call up. The reason? Hardly shocking, but Tristan Jarry is once again out injured. I wish the Penguins could get off this train after the season. I don’t see a clear path to doing so. There aren’t many appealing options in free agency and there are so many other holes to fill, using up assets on goaltending would be very deflating, albeit necessary. If you want to look at things as a glass half full what kind of contract can Jarry even demand? He’s been consistently injured the past year and a half and has no playoff success to speak of. Hockey men don’t like that combo. I don’t see a ton of leverage for Jarry at the present moment. I don’t see a ton of leverage for the Penguins, either. This is a real crappy situation.

Sidney Crosby scored his 31st goal of the season. It was a very notable goal. Prior to this goal Sid had scored in 30 out of the other 31 buildings in the league. The only one left was Dallas. Considering the Penguins only play there once a year and he is 35 years old it was no guarantee he would check off this box. He did, and now he has scored in all 31 cities. To nobody’s surprise he knew what the stakes were

It’s a quirky kind of stat and I’m really glad Sid accomplished it. It speaks to his longevity, consistency, and greatness.

Up next for the Penguins are the Washington Capitals on Saturday night at home.

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