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Penguins Grades vs. MTL: What Pens Didn’t Do, Crosby Gains Steam (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Montreal Canadiens

Under ordinary circumstances, 50 shots and 36 scoring chances would be a windfall on the scoreboard. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins threw a lot of pucks at Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen but didn’t crack the goalie until the third period and never led.

The Penguins did a lot of things right but also didn’t. On Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena, their pendulum had a wide swing in their 6-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

The Penguins ripped 50 shots at Allen but didn’t get their first goal until early in the third period, and didn’t get their second until Jeff Carter knocked home a slot shot with 2:33 left.

Glass half full and glass half empty.

The Penguins defensive zone coverage was spotty. Despite the colossal shot advantage (50-32), the Penguins were nearly even in high-danger shot attempts (13-11).

Montreal got far too many good looks at Casey DeSmith.

“For the most part, we had a significant amount of zone time. We had a significant amount of scoring chances. Some of the chances that we gave up were a little bit higher quality than we’d like,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “You know, we’ve got to make sure we defend the scoring area a little bit harder, a little bit better with more numbers. And I think we could have maybe cut down a goal or two.”

DeSmith certainly wasn’t a culprit and performed as you would expect, even if he allowed three goals on 30 shots.

It was nice to have Sullivan confirm what my notes said. The Penguins mistakes and their execution in specific areas cost them.

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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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