The Pittsburgh Penguins Are Playing For A Stanley Cup Repeat

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports 2016 NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins-Championship Parade

The reigning Stanley Cup champions are playing like they're ready for a repeat.

Through 26 games this season, the Pittsburgh Penguins are 16-7-3 and just one point out of the NHL lead for the President's Trophy. 

As of yesterday's 8-5 victory against the Ottawa Senators, the Penguins have put together a three-game winning streak in which they have scored 19 goals in seemingly every way possible. Ten of those goals occurred in the third period.

In a 6-2 victory over Dallas to start the month, Pittsburgh tallied four even-strength goals, a powerplay goal and an empty-net goal.

In the following game, the Penguins came back from a 3-1 deficit with a four-goal third period against the Detroit Red Wings, which was capped by another empty-net goal.

And on Monday night, the Penguins' Bryan Rust scored a hat trick in the defending champs' 8-5 lashing of the Senators. Moreover, the Penguins scored a shorthanded goal, penalty-shot goal and a third empty-net goal in as many games.

In case their three-game winning streak isn't convincing enough for you, 17 players have recorded at least one point during their impressive streak. Some of those players have been upstarts, while others have been the regular stalwarts.

Sidney Crosby, known more for his playmaking than his goal scoring, currently leads the league with 17 goals--and he's done it in just 20 games. 

The oft-injured Evgeni Malkin has played in all 26 games this year and currently leads the team with 28 points.

In his second season with the Penguins, Phil Kessel has found his game with 27 points in 26 games.

After a career year of 67 points last season, Kris Letang has 15 points in 21 games, which places him below just 13 defensemen for the defensive lead of 24 points. But he does remain the Penguins' best, and most important, blue-liner.

Their Stanley Cup hangover may be behind them now, as nearly the exact same roster that was engraved on Lord Stanley's Cup this past June fights for the first back-to-back Stanley Cups since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings.

'If You Ain't First, You're Last': Erie Otters Take Step Back In OHL

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By Jacob Messing

A historic Erie Otters season ended suddenly in late May when host Windsor defeated the regular season champions 4-3 for the Memorial Cup, given to the winner of a four-team tournament played

Knights Have ‘Golden’ NHL Debut

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By Jacob Messing

The past few months have been full of firsts for the Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL’s 31st franchise.

In March they signed Brandon Wheat Kings center Reid Duke, in June they sifted through opposing rosters during the expansion draft and selected one player from each team, and later in the summer they unveiled their home jerseys.

10 NCAA Players To Watch In 2017-18

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By Jacob Messing

The wait is almost over for hockey fans.

Social media is teeming with #IsItOctoberYet, NHL training camps have started, and teams are beginning to take shape. But mid-September doesn’t just mean a new professional season; the puck is set to drop October 1 for college hockey.

Who Will Replace Nashville's Ryan Ellis?

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By Jacob Messing

Last week, the Nashville Predators announced they would be without rising defenseman Ryan Ellis until the turn of the calendar year. The 26-year-old Canadian is recovering from offseason knee surgery and has not begun skating yet.

Intersection Of NHL Trading Trends And Matt Duchene Deal

© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Ottawa Senators at Colorado Avalanche

By Jacob Messing

Is Nugent-Hopkins A Fit As Penguins Third Line Center?

© Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four-Boston University vs North Dakota

By Jacob Messing

A New Test For Griffins’ Sadowy

© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators

By Jacob Messing

The last three years have been complicated for Dylan Sadowy.

He’s played in the OHL, AHL, and ECHL, been drafted into the NHL by one team, and traded to another -- although he’s yet to play a game in the world’s best league.

5 Best NHL Players On Each Side Of 30

© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers

By Jacob Messing

Earlier this month, Sidney Crosby turned 30 years old, and even at that benchmark age the Pittsburgh Penguins captain still remains at the forefront of any argument about who is the best player in the world.

However, that’s not to say a new generation of budding stars won’t be entering the conversation soon.

The NHL is becoming increasingly younger, and 20-year-old phenom Connor McDavid highlights the future of the game. So, rather than compare them -- given that Crosby has 10 years on the Edmonton Oilers’ young captain -- we decided to break down the best players by age groups, those above 30 and those below.

AHL Sophomores To Watch In 2017-18

© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres

By Jacob Messing

Late summer is typically when hockey fans ask, “Is it October yet?”

While the start of the season is still a long way off, camps begin in a month -- a time for high-end prospects and AHL players to get good, long looks from their coaches as teams push for roster spots and players seek to fulfill their NHL dreams.

Why Danis Zaripov Won’t Find An NHL Home

© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports OLYMPICS: Mens Hockey-Russia vs Czech Republic

By Jacob Messing

KHL star Danis Zaripov is reportedly eyeing to play his hockey stateside after a two-year ban from the International Ice Hockey Federation for a failed drug test. Both organizations follow the policies of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), resulting in Russian side AK Bars Kazan voiding Zaripov’s recently signed two-year deal.