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Penguins Grades: Grinders, a Blown Call, & Reasons for Optimism (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

The Pittsburgh Penguins were engulfed in traffic as if they were driving through one of the Pittsburgh’s several tunnels. In this case, they were swarmed by the endless mass of bodies in the defensive zone as the Nashville Predators gave one shot or one scoring chance but not a second.

Referees whiffed on an obvious interference at the beginning of overtime, which sprung Filip Forsberg for a breakaway goal just 14 seconds into overtime. The Penguins players remained on the bench in disbelief at the non-call. They were probably right, but such things don’t matter, and Nashville won 3-2 in overtime at Bridgestone Arena.

“Yes, and yes,” said coach Mike Sullivan regarding if he saw the deciding play and if he thought it was interference.

The Penguins put their first mark in the third column this season. It was a well-earned point by both teams, with a finish marred by the orange armbands.

“I’d like to know what the refs have to say, but I guess we’ll never know,” Bryan Rust, who returned to the lineup after a three-game injury absence, said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

Such is life.

The Penguins dominated the puck for most of the game and rallied from down 2-0. The Penguins puck possession was evidenced by the shot clock and shot attempts. Through two periods, the Penguins had nearly two-thirds of the shot attempts. The Penguins also had 80% of the high-danger chances and 72% of the scoring chances. However, Nashville led 2-1 after 40 minutes.

All stats are according to

The Penguins didn’t lack energy or effort. Nor did they suffer structural breakdowns. Yet they did suffer from being stuck on Church and 1st St. when they really needed to get to Broadway.

That’s an analogous way of reporting that the Penguins were stuck on the perimeter of where they needed to be.

Pittsburgh Penguins Analysis

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