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To all who celebrate, Merry Christmas! Fewer hockey stories this morning without any action on the ice, but we have a good few to share. Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin passed Gordie Howe as the second-leading scorer of all time, but his ascension tests our ability to separate politics from sports. Dave Molinari noted that Pittsburgh Penguins d-man Kris Letang has been a different player — a better player — since returning from his stroke. Bruins winger David Pastrnak had some fun chirping his teammates during the last few goals. The Philly Flyers have had a rough go of it this season, and now Carter Hart may be out, and in some good news, Capitals defenseman John Carlson has been released from the hospital.

For all my Steelers friends who went to the game last night, it should have been one to remember. Braving that ridiculous cold, that ferocious game and a frustrating Steelers offense, but getting rewarded in the end, must have left an indelible mark.

I’ll have some thoughts on WPXI’s Final Word tonight at 11:30pm (or after football).

Also this week, PHN will kick off the Season of Giving. I will post the full details on how to participate, but I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to return. We started on Thursday. For those who saw the Plum High School Make-a-Wish telethon, PHN presented the organization with a $2,000 check (I wish I had one of those giant checks), and it raised over $57,000. We will match your donations to several great charities. details to come.

Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates

Pittsburgh hockey now. Letang’s new dimension. Drew O’Connor’s mistake earned him plenty of time on the bench. Dave Molinari gives the pros and cons of the current Pittsburgh Penguins lineup.

Vote We had an initial technical error, but everything is fixed (No, it wasn’t a stolen election). Which Penguins have surprised, disappointed, which MVPs are likely to be traded, which new guy you love is likely to turn it around, all the fun stuff. PHN Penguins Fan Vote.

Steelers Now:

“He should have been here,” Steelers emotional Franco Harris jersey resigned.

The Steelers found a way. They pulled out a 13-10 victory as Kenny Pickett led the game-winning drive. The Steelers are winning.

Alan Saunders. That’s why Pickett was drafted in the first round. That was big time, Kenny Pickett.

Lots of stories to link, but more Franco Harris tributes and game coverage on SteelersNow.com.

NHL News, National Hockey Now.

Boston Hockey Now. David Pastrnak is a character. He has that “Evgeni Malkin charm” where you just don’t know what he’s going to say next. He had some fun hitting on his buddies in the Boston Bruins locker room.

Washington. It was terrible. There was a lot of blood on the ice. John Carlson was slapped in the face and taken to the hospital Thursday. He will be out indefinitely, but luckily, the d-man has been released from the hospital. The Complete History of the Washington Capitals.

Philly: Give the Flyers credit. They fight. Despite the patchwork lineup, they get behind it. But now Carter Hart may be out for a while. What’s next for the Philadelphia Flyers?

Detroit. I think that’s a great compliment, not a small British backhanded compliment. Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Cooper says he sees some of the Lightning in Derek Lalonde and the Detroit Red Wings.

NYI. The Islanders were near the top of the metro before the Rangers, Hurricanes and Penguins jumped on long winning streaks and more. The holiday break comes just in time as injuries plague the New York Islanders.

San Jose. Where are the top prospects? Fans are getting impatient, especially with the top players doing well at the AHL level. Why isn’t William Eklund (7th overall, 2021) on the San Jose Sharks roster?

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