By: Patrick Damp/KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Penguins have started 2022 on the right foot, winning their first three games of the calendar year.READ MORE: Jake Guentzel Selected To Play In 2022 NHL All-Star Game
With a 6-2 victory over the Flyers on Thursday night, the Penguins also won their 10th straight game.
This marks the team’s fifth-longest winning streak in franchise history. The team’s longest coming in the 1992-93 season when the team won 17 games in a row.
There is more than meets the eye for this 10-game streak for the Penguins.
In 10 games the team has posted a +25 goal differential, beating their opponents by a combined score of 45-20.
Whether or not you believe in momentum, the Penguins certainly had it before the calendar switched to 2022, winning seven straight from December 6 until December 19. After that, with an increase in COVID-19 cases across the world and in the NHL, the Penguins’ holiday break began early with games being postponed.
Between December 20, 2021, and January 1, the Penguins would not play a game.
Once they returned to action on January 2, the team cruised to an 8-5 win over the Sharks.
Records have been matched and been broken as the Penguins roll.READ MORE: Penguins Rally With 5 Straight Goals To Beat Vegas, End Road Trip On Winning Note
Forward Bryan Rust joined a list of names that very few ever find themselves mentioned with.
Rust has scored seven goals and 11 points in just three games, including a hat trick against the Sharks and two goals against both the Blues and Flyers.
He joins just two players to have 11 or more points in the first games to start a calendar year.
Those names? Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.
Meanwhile, Evan Rodrigues continues to be a revelation for the Penguins.
Scoring a goal and assist, Rodrigues set a new career-high in points, scoring 30 for the first time. With the team taking a chance on Rodrigues this year with a one-year, $1 million contract, Rodrigues has more than lived up to his end of the bargain.
Thursday’s matchup in Philadelphia was the beginning of a six-game road trip and as the Penguins prepare for a western swing where they’ll play Dallas, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Vegas, the team sits in the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 45 points.
Sitting in arguably the NHL’s most competitive division, the Penguins are still only three points off of the Metropolitan Division lead, rapidly gaining ground on rival Washington.
The Penguins’ 10-game winning streak is the longest this season in the National Hockey League.MORE NEWS: Guentzel’s OT Goal Lifts Penguins Over Sharks 2-1
Penguins are back at it on Saturday in Dallas at 2:00 p.m. when they’ll take on the Stars, looking to make this an 11-game winning streak.