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Penguins Postgame

Free Fallin’: Penguins Finish Sloppy Weekend w/ Loss to Carolina 6-2

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Pittsburgh Penguins Tristan Jarry

What goes up, must come down. The Pittsburgh Penguins free fall continued on Sunday with their second straight loss and their eighth loss in 10 games as they squandered a pair of leads to the Carolina Hurricanes. After a conservative start, the Penguins played increasingly loose, and the same mistakes which haunted them in their loss on Saturday to the Washington Capitals were again boldly present. Carolina winger Justin Williams had two goals, as the Penguins were outworked and outplayed in their 5-2 loss to Carolina at PPG Paints Arena.

And coming down is the hardest thing.

The Penguins now lead Carolina, the first team out of the Eastern Conference playoff seeds, by just five points.

Leading by one goal, Carolina scored the backbreaking goal in the middle of the third period. Carolina stalwart Justin Williams (6), who earlier missed a couple of golden chances, deflected a pass past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry for an insurmountable 4-2 lead. And Carolina scored a couple of more goals, too.

“That third period was as quiet as I’ve ever heard this arena,” Williams said. “This arena gets really buzzing. So we definitely did something right.”

Jarry allowed a few shaky goals on Sunday.

Despite dominating the scoring chances for most of the second period, the Penguins yielded the only two goals in the period. Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry started well but whiffed on a point shot by Jaccob Slavin (6) midway through the period.

Then late in the period, as the Pittsburgh Penguins were killing a penalty to Bryan Rust, Evan Rodrigues created a shorthanded scoring chance, but then took a bad holding penalty.

As the hockey gods usually deem bad penalties, Carolina scored for a 3-2 lead. Carolina defenseman Jake Gardiner (4) teed a slapshot from the point which also eluded Jarry.

The first 10 minutes of the game were tepid until the Penguins broke the seal. Penguins LW Patrick Marleau, who failed to convert several chances on Saturday, finally scored his first goal since the Penguins acquired him on Feb. 24. Marleau darted from the bench at full speed, burst through a seam in the Carolina defense at the blue line and slipped a backhander past Carolina goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, midway through the first period.

The Penguins lead was short-lived.

Just 31 seconds later, Carolina quickly scored off an offensive zone faceoff. Morgan Geekie (1), who played his first NHL game, scored on his first NHL shot when he deflected Jake Gardiner’s shot-pass behind Jarry.

The Penguins increased effort produced results later in the first period. While shorthanded, forward Evan Rodrigues drew a penalty as he hustled for a loose puck in the Carolina zone. On the resulting Penguins power play, Carolina forward Jordan Martinook high-sticked Jared McCann. The Penguins a five-on-three for 22 seconds, and capitalized.

Evgeni Malkin was most eager to shoot as he blasted a pair of shots in those 22 seconds. From the point, Malkin (23) powered his second shot through Nedeljkovic and Patric Hornqvist, who well-screened the Carolina goalie.

Carolina made the final five minutes a laugher after Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin played hot-potato with the puck in front of Jarry. Williams (7) quickly slammed it past Jarry.

Then Justin Schultz failed to cover Geekie (2) in front of the net. In his first NHL game, Geekie earned his third point by pounding his second goal of the game.

“It was tough. They play a hard game. They were on pucks and making plays in front of the net,” Jarry said. “We just have to defend that and play hard.”

Jarry stopped only 30 of 36. Alex Nedeljovic earned his first win of the season. He turned away 28 of 30 shots.

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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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Tony G.
Tony G.
1 year ago

OK, it took a while, but I’m convinced now. Jarry is the No. 1 goalie on the team. #NoContest

E.J.
E.J.
1 year ago

Trish Jarry got totally outplayed by some jamoke named Alex Nedeljkovic (sp?). Double Yoi!

Miller Time
Miller Time
1 year ago

Justin Williams is 38 years old. He played in New York on Saturday. He scored two goals and had five SOG in Pittsburgh on Sunday. So why wasn’t he tired? Discuss . . .

B.J.
B.J.
1 year ago

The 50-foot floater that Jarry gagged on in the second period turned the game around. The Pens had 2-1 lead and control until that point.

True, Malkin lost the face-off (as usual) and nobody cleared out in front (as usual), but an NHL-caliber goalie has to made that stop 100 times out of 100 times.

That’s how you lose hockey games, girls and boys.

Katz
Katz
1 year ago

Too late Red Pill finally for those who swallowed the meme.
Was all predictable. Should’ve made the necessary changes after last years sweep. Not much to look forward to, again, summer will be interesting. Lots of answers but very few asked the questions over the past 3 seasons.

David Heyl
David Heyl
1 year ago

There is something wrong in that locker room! There is not one line that is functioning and forget about any defensive pairing that works. The power play is inept at best. Has Sullivan & coaches lost the team????

Da Binker
Da Binker
1 year ago

Jarry couldn’t catch a softball thrown from the blue line, but boy, can the guy stick-handle or what?!

John Gregg
John Gregg
1 year ago

While I agree that goal was not helpful, the game was there to be put away on the multiple PPs in the second period. Jarry didn’t win the game, but he didn’t lose it either. The forwards lost us this game. They couldn’t score on the PP and their D zone coverage was atrocious. The first goal was scored by Malkin’s guy. The second goal Jarry was screened by Malkin’s guy. That’s what’s so frustrating; this team should have great forwards. They are letting the team down.

Pen Ultimate
Pen Ultimate
1 year ago

Letang and Dumoulin were just plain brutal the last two games. And I do mean brutal.

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