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Penguins Grades: Malkin Has the Jump, the Pens Abide in 6th Straight Win (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin, Jason Zucker

It was a low-event game. Fans who came to see Jason Robertson light the lamp, or Pittsburgh Penguins fans with holiday tickets hoping to see Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play their typical exciting brand of hockey, were probably disappointed, at least for 59 minutes and 26 seconds. Yet Penguins fans went home happy after a dramatic 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars.

The Penguins have won six straight.

The chalkboard will dissect the deflated puck, yet the sometimes impatient or itchy Penguins stayed within the game. The Penguins abide, man. Dallas coach Pete DeBoer made sure his team clogged the neutral zone and the middle of the ice. Space to make plays and scoring chances were a precious commodity.

“We were proud of the group. In terms of how the game was played, it without a doubt had more of a playoff feel in the sense that you had to fight for every inch,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “It was a low-event game. To play in those types of games and have success, you need to have an element of patience … you can’t force plays that aren’t there and give our opponents easy offense. And I thought, for the most part, our guys had a certain level of discipline, a certain level of resolve, and just taking what the game gave us.”

The scoring chances at halfway were 7-5 for Dallas. Those paltry numbers are a slow period but an exceedingly plodding 30 minutes. The final high-danger tally was 5-5, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

The Penguins’ PP1 reverted to form, and that’s not a compliment.

The Penguins had an opening against the Dallas strategy, which they didn’t capitalize on…

And there were a couple of A grades to praise, despite the sometimes slow 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.