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Penguins Grades: ‘It Stings,’ Missed Chances, Special Teams Failure (+)



Pittsburgh penguins, bryan rust

Every opportunity was magnified. Every Pittsburgh Penguins chance is that much more valuable. And every missed opportunity hurts that much more.

The Penguins had glorious Grade A chances, but those appeared like guerilla attacks on the Boston Bruins. Despite being outshot 20-10 deep into the second period, the Penguins actually had more high-danger chances.

And they battled back from three one-goal deficits to tie the game 3-3 in the third period.

And they had nearly five minutes of power play time in the final 7:30 of the game.

And they lost 4-3 on a late goal, complete with multiple breakdowns. David Pastrnak completed the hat trick late in the third period as the Bruins beat the Penguins 4-3 at PPG Paints Arena.

“You know, it’s just a tough way to lose, and that stings when the games have so much meaning like they do at this time of year,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “But we’ve got to find a way to get over it. And that falls on all of us, myself included.”

Oh, the Penguins had chances.

Jake Guentzel had a couple of breakaways before his third-period tying goal. Rickard Rakell had clean looks, and the Penguins had a few open shots in the slot in the first period alone.

It was both a contrast between a Presidents’ Trophy winner and a team fighting for its playoff life and a study of how close the Penguins are to the top teams.

Yet how far.

The gap isn’t huge, but little details multiple like rabbits. And that’s where the chalkboard begins.

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