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Penguins Chat: Ride DeSmith? Malkin’s Temper & Playoff Outlook



The breaths got shorter. The anxiety rose as the Pittsburgh Penguins watched a 3-0 third period lead over the Philadelphia Flyers become a 3-2 nailbiter. Instead of allowing the Flyers to tie the game, Penguins’ third-line center Ryan Poehling scored the empty net goal for a 4-2 win.

Penguins fans were split between pessimism stemming from the nearly squandered lead and optimism from the vital win. The two points put the Penguins one point ahead of the Florida Panthers and just one behind the New York Islanders for the first wild card.

Casey DeSmith stopped 31 of 33 shots and saved the Penguins’ bacon. Read more about his performance in the PHN+ Penguins report card.

Rickard Rakell scored two goals, and Bryan Rust scored his third goal of the weekend in the win. However, Evgeni Malkin also made headlines by taking three minor penalties in about seven minutes, then getting ejected after taking his fourth minor penalty early in the third period.

“He’s obviously an emotional guy. His emotions got the best of him in that circumstance,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “(Malkin) and I will have a conversation about that.”

Get the reaction from inside the Penguins’ locker room.

Readers asked what Malkin did to get ejected, whether Sullivan should go back to DeSmith for Tuesday in New Jersey, and which team is the biggest threat to catch the Penguins. We also talked about the game and its significance to the playoff chase, both good and bad.