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Penguins Grades: ‘Real Important’ Win, Power Play Struggles Again (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes aren’t the best team the Pittsburgh Penguins will face this season. In fact, they are one of the worst. Arizona took away the fun zones but made a couple of crucial mistakes. And for the first time in 2023, it was the Penguins that buried another team’s mistakes in the back of the net. The Penguins beat Arizona, 4-1, at Mullett Arena.

The streak is over.

The Penguins did what they had to do, and the teasing and ribbing can resume (and did).

Get Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap here.

It wasn’t exactly pretty, and it didn’t get off to a good start.

“It’s a real important win for us. No matter how you get it. We’re trying to get this thing back on the tracks, just playing the game with confidence that we know this team is capable of playing with,” said coach Mike Sullivan. “So, I thought it was important to get the win for a lot of reasons, but most importantly, I think we need to feel good about what went on out there.”

The Penguins waited until they trailed, 1-0, several minutes into the first period before applying pressure to the Coyotes. However, the Penguins’ game was riddled with ill-timed mistakes and ill-timed puck losses in the first period. 

The game had “winless in seven” written all over it.

But Arizona made mistakes, the Penguins were patient, and Arizona goalie Karol Vejmelka was in a giving mood. From there, the Penguins played a few inches taller. Sometimes, the breaks matter.

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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.