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Penguins Short Against Florida, Mistakes Doom Pens, 4-3

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Pittsburgh Penguins Game, Florida Panthers, 4-3

The Pittsburgh Penguins (34-15-9) were again generous with odd-man rushes. In a relatively even game, the Penguins couldn’t match the chances they gave to the Florida Panthers (39-13-5). A couple of bad pinches and missed assignments became Florida goals while the Penguins offense was concentrated in nine seconds in the second period.

The Penguins made it interesting in the final minutes. Head coach Mike Sullivan pulled starting goalie Tristan Jarry for the extra attacker with over two minutes remaining. Jeff Carter whipped a pass through the crease to Sidney Crosby (19) to pull the Penguins within one, 4-3.

Fans who remained for the final minutes were treated to a furious push, but it wasn’t enough.

On Tuesday night, the Atlantic Division-leading Florida beat the Penguins, 4-2, at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins lost two of three in their beasts-of-the-East gauntlet, which began with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last Thursday and continued in Carolina on Friday.

The Penguins remain in third place in the Metro Division, a comfortable eight points ahead of the Washington Capitals.

Florida raced to a 2-0 lead in the first period, though it could have been a bit worse as Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry turned away of pair of breakaways and a shorthanded break. Jarry stopped Sam Reinhart on two chances, but Reinhart converted an ugly swat.

“I didn’t like (net-front defense) at all in the first period. You know, both goals that they scored, for example. So we’ve got to defend that area with numbers. We’ve got to defend that area harder,” head coach Mike Sullivan said.

Midway through the first period, Reinhart charged one on three to the net. However, Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen flew past Reinhart without hitting the puck carrier or getting a piece of the puck. Reinhart (19) batted his own rebound out of the air–stick just beneath the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Florida created a traffic jam in front of the Penguins net worse than the Squirrel Hill tunnels on a Friday afternoon. Jarry didn’t see Aaron Ekblad’s (15) shot.

The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t waste much time in the second period. They needed just nine seconds to erase the two-goal deficit.

Scorers initially credited Zach Aston-Reese with the first Penguins goal. He was near the crease, creating havoc. However, Bryan Rust (19) eventually got credit because a defenseman deflected his pass towards Aston-Reese into the net.

Then, nine seconds later, Sidney Crosby won an offensive zone faceoff directly to Jake Guentzel (28), who immediately zipped the clapper past Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Penguins’ good fortune didn’t last long. After a soft interference call on Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson, Florida lit the lamp for the go-ahead goal. Less than four minutes after the Penguins tied the game, Anthony Duclair (23) scored a power-play goal with a wrister from the slot.

“I know our team is capable of bringing a consistent game. When we bring it, and we’ve got a collective effort and we’re up in fives in all three zones. I think we’re hard to play against. And I thought there were moments in the game tonight when we were…,” head coach Mike Sullivan didn’t quite finish the thought before circling back to his unhappiness. “I didn’t like our first period at all. You know, I thought in the second and third period, we competed hard and there was more that was more detail to our game. And as a result, we made it a hockey game. The takeaway is we’ve got to make sure we’re ready from the drop in the puck.”

Carter Verhaeghe scored the game-winner after Kris Letang was caught on a pinch, and Jake Guentzel couldn’t keep the puck in the offensive zone. Verhaeghe finished the two-on-one for the GWG.

The Pittsburgh Penguins had seven of the nine scoring chances in the second period and took 22 of the 29 shot attempts, yet each team had just one high-danger chance, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

Jarry stopped 26 of 29 before being pulled for the extra attacker. Bobrovsky nailed down 32 of 35.

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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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Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
2 months ago

Only a one line scoring line can’t prevail Pens please make changes soon

Ethan
Ethan
2 months ago

Dan my stats say Duclair has 22 goals not 10 with 5 PPGs. Thought I heard Bob Errey say something similar during game. Not trying to nitpick, just wish the Pens had tried harder to sign him as a free agent last summer. Also not saying he would also have 22 for Guins, but can’t help but dream of similar level of production on 2nd/3rd line (even if you subtract out power play)!

Uros
Uros
2 months ago

Once again we’ve managed to beat ourselves. After a spectacular start the D has dropped a lot. Kind of not seeing other problems if we can tighten up a bit. A lot of mistakes. The only guy that was doing better on D was Marcus, but that’s just because he had some very bad outings lately. I am satisfied with the result which is very mild when you consider how bad we’ve played.

Ryan
Ryan
2 months ago
Reply to  Uros

4/$44 sound about right for ole Tanger?…who plays like he’s been in the league 15 months instead of 15 years half the time…

Ryan
Ryan
2 months ago

Another listless performance…

Malkin looks good but they have zero on the wings and the pens will likely “pull a steeler” and activate zucker before the playoffs rather than take advantage of his ridiculous cap hit to make a move. He is what he is too…not much.

Team looks very flat. My advice (trapped outside of Philly)…is if they don’t get some goals/W’s over the next week…don’t look for hextall to do anything. He will take the opportunity to be conservative/hedge if it’s there. There’s a reason why he has the rep of being “too deliberate”.

paco
paco
2 months ago

dan, I would say to sit YOU in the press box but that is where your myopia begins. just what are you seeing when you report 42 never touched the puck when he clearly batted it . the puck hit Reinhart and into the air. if kapenen didn’t as you say , “flew past” he probably would have taken out Jarry. Second Fla goal you see a traffic jam worthy of the squirrell hill tunnels on Friday; I see Marino and a lone panther. what am I missing.? to manipulate objective evidence to fit what is seemingly (and continually, and… Read more »

Frank
Frank
2 months ago

It is not the fact that the Penguins posted another loss last night (only 3 of 8 Playoff teams won last night, and a couple of the wins were shaky). They will lose at least another 10 games before the season ends, so buckle up. What is really unsettling is that Rodriguez/Kapanen/Ashton-Reese/McGinn/Blueger/Heinan/Simon combined for a total of 6 shots in the 86 minutes of ice time they occupied. And Simon and Blueger generated 4 of the 6. I realize this performance is not a bulletin or a surprise. It has been going on now for a couple of months. But… Read more »

Paul
Paul
2 months ago

We’re having the same conversations that we’ve had for years now. This is not a team built for the playoffs. Should unload as much salary as reasonably possible in hopes that MacKinnon will become available soon. If the Lanche underachieve in the postseason again, he surely will want out. He’s too competitive to stay in one place out of loyalty, and a reunion with Crosby at the right price certainly would appeal to him. I bet he would even take a slight discount to make it happen.

Last edited 2 months ago by Paul

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