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It only comes around every four years. And in the Penguins' case, it comes around even less.
Games on Leap Day.
It's that additional little day on the Gregorian Calendar which compensates that extra six hours a year it takes the Earth to complete a revolution around the Sun that takes the form of Feb. 29 every fourth year.
(Technically, it's an additional five hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds.)
The Penguins have played on five previous days and have a 2-3 record all-time. They can even that mark with a win in Dallas tonight.
Here's a look at their previous Lead Day games:
Game: Blues 5, Penguins 3.
Location: Civic Arena
What happened: Goals by "Century Line" members center Syl Apps, Jr., left winger Lowell MacDonald and right winger Jean Pronovost (right) gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead after two periods. Left winger Ted Irvine sparked a furious comeback by netting a hat trick in the third period. The first two goals came against goaltender Gary Inness while the third was on an empty net. The loss snapped a streak of 11 games without a defeat for the Penguins.
Also in the news that day: Guard Norm Nixon scored 24 points for Duquesne in an 80-73 loss to Cincinnati earlier that day at the Civic Arena.
Game: Canucks, 9, Penguins 5.
Location: Civic Arena
What happened: A first period power-play goal by Andy Brickley gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 7:36 into the game, but it didn't take long for the Canucks to start a rout. They would score four-unanswered goal in the period as things got out of hand. Canucks center Patrik Sundstrom set a franchise record with six assists, one short of the NHL record, and added a breakaway goal in the third period. Both starting goaltenders got into fights at one point in the second period. The Penguins' Denis Herron (right) squared off with Canucks' left winger Dave "Tiger" Williams while Vancouver's John Garrett squared off with Penguins left winger Gary Rissling.
Also in the news that day: Forward Clyde Vaughan scored 17 points for Pitt which lost to No. 4 Georgetown, 71-52, at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md.
Game: Penguins 5, Sabres 2.
Location: Civic Arena
What happened: The Penguins got second-period goals from defenseman Larry Murphy, right winger Jaromir Jagr and center Mario Lemieux (right) and snapped a four-game winless streak. The third period saw the Penguins get additional goals from right winger Joe Mullen and Lemieux. Former Sabres goaltender Tom Barrasso made 22 saves in the victory. Center Dale Hawerchuk and right winger Alexander Mogilny scored Buffalo's goals.
Also in the news that day: Forward Chris McNeal scored 19 points for Pitt in a 78-61 road loss to Big East rival Villanova at duPont Pavlilion.
Game: Flames 7, Penguins 3.
Location: Olympic Saddledome
What happened: The Flames scored the games first five goals and never looked back. Calgary left winger Gary Roberts ended up with a hat trick while former Penguins goaltender Rick Tabaracci made 29 saves in the victory. Center Petr Nedved (right) scored two goals for the Penguins while right winger Jaromir Jagr recorded three assists.
Also in the news that day: Just over a month after Super Bowl XXX, former Steelers quarterback Neil O'Donnell signed a five year contract worth $25 million with the Jets. Also that day, the Steelers signed former Colts Pro Bowl guard Will Wolford to a four-year contract worth a total of $9.9 million.
Game: Penguins 3, Islanders 2, OT.
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
What happened: Second period goals by right winger Tomas Surovy and defenseman Ric Jackman helped the Penguins get to overtime against the Islanders. An overtime goal by left winger Ryan Malone (right) against former Penguins goaltender Garth Snow won the game. Penguins goaltender Andy Chiodo made 38 saves - including 14 in the third period - to earn the win.
Also in the news that day: Center Chris Taft scored nine points for No. 3 Pitt in a 49-46 overtime loss to Syracuse. It was Pitt's first loss ever at the Petersen Events Center and snapped a 40-game home winning streak.
(Photos: Penguins Hockey Cards)
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