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3 Takeaways: Penguins Quick Strike, ‘Weird Goals’ & Kapanen Dropped to 4th Line (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Jeff Carter

The Pittsburgh Penguins scored three quick goals in the first five minutes against Seattle Kraken starting goalie Philipp Grubauer and two late goals in successive rushes in the second period. The Penguins skated away from the expansion Seattle Kraken and did not allow a goal to any of their four former teammates, though perennial Penguins-killer Jordan Eberle didn’t allow a cross-country move to slow his mastery over Penguins goalies.

The Penguins beat Seattle 6-1.

We’ll forgo the typical report card because the Penguins had a unique game–three quick goals, which dulled their intensity, then two more quickies which ended the suspense. It wasn’t a typical game, so we won’t hold the Penguins to the typical evaluation. They also got a few Fortunate Son bounces.

“We’ll take ’em. Some weird goals tonight, both of mine, ended up shooting (into) the net,” Jeff Carter said. “That’s the way it goes sometimes…sometimes you get lucky.”

Carter had two goals. Each deflected off defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. Jake Guentzel had a pair of pretty goals when he finished odd-man rushes.

Credit to the Penguins. They attacked in the third period. As Seattle tried to add bodies in the offensive zone, the Penguins counter-attacked, then buried the subsequent odd-man rushes. The Penguins quickened the pace of the game and forechecked Seattle into submission.

“Ideally, we wouldn’t have given them some of the looks they got in the second. But you know, they’re going to push. And when you get a lead like that, sometimes it’s hard not to sit back,” Crosby said. “And Case made some great saves and just kind of allowed us to to get that next one. We had a couple of good looks, and they didn’t go. But to get that one late (in the second period), to get a couple…that was huge momentum swing.”

There were some things to like, but there continue to be nagging shortcomings that will hold back the Penguins against better opponents, including the Washington Capitals coming on Friday.

Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith was good enough. He made the saves required. It was an important game for DeSmith–questions would have surfaced had he remained winless or not improved upon his .867 save percentage. He got the resounding win and stopped 28 of 29. That should allow him to breathe a little easier.

“Yeah, feels great. You know, mentally, that was big for me to go out there and get a solid win. And obviously, that was the definition of a team win from start to finish,” DeSmith said. “So, kudos to everybody for making it easy on me and kind of getting my confidence going in the right direction. I think we’ve been doing a lot of good stuff in practice, working on some things, and I felt pretty good tonight.”

The good things are headlined by Evan Rodrigues, who is laying waste to his career ceiling as a depth forward. One of those drawbacks was Kasperi Kapanen, who also raises questions about his play, but unlike Rodrigues, those are negative queries.

3 Pittsburgh Penguins Takeaways:

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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