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Penguins Grades: It’s a Win (vs. Ducks), but Real Issues Remain (+)

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PIttsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin, Jason Zucker

The Pittsburgh Penguins blew another third period lead. For a team supposedly desperate for a win, handing over two points to one of the worst teams in the league is not ideal.

It would have been downright disastrous for the Penguins.

“In a lot of instances, that could really deflate the team. But I never sensed that on the bench,” coach Mike Sullivan said following the Penguins’ comeback 4-3 OT win over the Anaheim Ducks at PPG Paints Arena.

Get Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap.

It was a promising start for the Penguins. In the first 10-12 minutes, they controlled territory. They played the low game with strength and put pucks on net from all angles, breaking down the Anaheim zone defense and creating scoring chances.

Then, things changed.

The Penguins took their earned confidence from the simple game and morphed into the loose team that has struggled, except for the Malkin line, before finding their bearings before it was too late. The dichotomy and matchups created two games within the game.

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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.