Unexpected heroes. The Pittsburgh Penguins chased Minnesota Wild starting goalie Devan Dubnyk not with a bushel of goals from future Hall of Fame players, but with a pair of goals from their fourth line. The Penguins rookies including Sam Lafferty and John Marino outshined another dominant performance from Sidney Crosby as each member of the Penguins fourth line scored a goal and the Penguins beat Minnesota 7-4 at the Xcel Energy Center.
More important than the offensive contributions to head coach Mike Sullivan was the defensive responsibility. Sullivan immediately praised the work and cited the high-leverage situations in which he deployed the inexperienced kids.
“We put (the line) in some defensive situations against some of their top people and they did a good job defending,” said Sullivan of the fourth line. “When you can have the trust in those guys that we can put them in those situations, it gives us an opportunity to use Crosby’s line, for example, in an advantageous line offensively. I thought they did a good job.”
Oh, and some guy named Sidney Crosby not only conducted the Penguins train, but he also pulled it too.
PHN graded Crosby, Lafferty, Jack Johnson-John Marino, Matt Murray, and Kahun-McCann-Hornqvist. We also broke down the Penguins tactical approach against Minnesota including some small details from the defensemen and the power play.