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Penguins Report Card: DeSmith Has ‘Bounce in His Step,’ Pens Improve in Win (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Casey DeSmith
OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 10: Pittsburgh Penguins Goalie Casey DeSmith (1) looks on during the second period of the NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 10, 2022 at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire)

The Ottawa Senators were in the third game of three in four nights but skated with the Pittsburgh Penguins until the Penguins took the puck away, and goalie Casey DeSmith stuffed the best Ottawa chances through two periods.

Ottawa wilted in the third period, and the Penguins surged. In the third period, the Penguins outshot Ottawa 19-5 to control the game and ensure their second consecutive win since the All-Star Game. Sidney Crosby sprawled to make a last-second shot block which sprung Bryan Rust for the clinching empty netter. The Penguins won 2-0 at the Canadian Tire Centre in front of 500 fans.

The game was quick. There were not many whistles, only three penalties combined, and neither side wasted much time with unnecessary scrums, chattering, or extra-legal physicality.

One Ottawa mistake wound up in the back of their net behind former Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Matt Murray, while a few Penguins mistakes became DeSmith saves.

“They kind of send guys, and they look to transition quickly. Sometimes stuff happens, and they get behind (the defensemen). And I was fortunate enough to make some saves tonight. And then, you know, everybody in front of me did the rest,” DeSmith said.

The 2-0 win was another step forward on a few fronts and for a few players, but it was another win without the Penguins’ best or best from essential players.

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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.