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‘Substantially More Fun,’ Rust, Rakell & What we Learned About the Penguins (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Rickard Rakell

The Pittsburgh Penguins scored 11 goals on Sunday and became the first team in the salary cap era to reach those heights. As fans at PPG Paints Arena chanted for 12, the Detroit Red Wings had long ago waived the winged wheel white flag. The Penguins didn’t ease up as they did in January when they had a five-goal lead on the San Jose Sharks, only to need a late rally to avoid a shocking comeback.

No, the Penguins just kept after the lowly Red Wings, which have just two wins in their last 11 games. The Motown record is skipping, and it’s not a good tune.

Evgeni Malkin had a hat trick and four points. Rickard Rakell was one of a handful of Penguins with at least three points. All Penguins skaters except Marcus Pettersson and Brian Dumoulin had points. Slackers.

But what did we learn from the Penguins’ last seven days? They Will Smith’d the Columbus Blue Jackets, then stumbled and slumbered through the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, earning a point for a shootout loss to Buffalo but getting trampled by the Rangers 5-1 on Friday.

“Tonight was substantially more fun than the other night (against the New York Rangers). To kind of play on our toes and not be on our heels the whole night again also very fun. So I think we’ve just got to take what we did well in this game, build off it, take the confidence from this game and keep moving forward because we got a game with (New York) on Tuesday,” Bryan Rust said.

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