Effort and ability are two separate things for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins pressured the St. Louis Blues for long stretches of the hockey game Saturday night but St. Louis led a majority of the game and put the Penguins away in the third period. The Penguins defense gave a yeoman effort despite losing pillar Brian Dumoulin just 35 seconds into the game and the Penguins forwards didn’t lack jump but the Penguins lost 5-2 at the Enterprise Center.
The Penguins didn’t lack effort but they did lack ability. After the Evgeni Malkin line, the Penguins created only one rebound attempt despite repeated and consistent effort to get to the net. it was a juxtaposition as the Penguins put the puck in dirty areas but didn’t create enough garbage.
As has been the case in Sidney Crosby’s injury absence, Evgeni Malkin and his line were dominant. The Malkin line attempted twice as many shots as any other Penguins line (22) and only four less than the entire St. Louis Blues forward lines. Stats according to NaturalStatTrick.com. St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington stopped the Grade A chances and there were few immediate follow-ups.
Beyond Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel, who have been spectacular, the Penguins were a mixed bag of results.