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Penguins Grades: ‘Fun to Play That Way,’ Desperate Pens Win 4-3 (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Rickard Rakell

In succession, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ game sheet showed a power play goal and a goal by Kasperi Kapanen, and yet there were no reports of spontaneously boiling holy water in the Pittsburgh area. The Penguins’ puck pressure showed the desperation of a hungry team, and their puck possession was that of a greedy team en route to a 4-3 win over the powerful Vegas Golden Knights at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

The Penguins sent 47 shots at Vegas goalie Logan Thompson. There would have been a couple more shots and more goals if not for desperate blocks by Vegas defensemen.

Overall, the Penguins had 47 shots on goal, and Vegas blocked another 29.

Get Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap here.

Shelly Anderson has the Penguins locker room story, with captain Sidney Crosby talking about the extra effort with Kris Letang.

“We held on to pucks. That’s what you’ve got to do,” said Crosby. “We found a way to get on the forecheck and create turnovers, and with that, we got zone time. So it’s a lot of fun playing that way, holding on to the puck, making teams defend, and starting in the offensive zone. So we got to continue to do that.”

Despite seven goals, both goalies played exceptionally well. It was a high-level, high-event game forced by the Penguins’ tenacity. In their first game since announcing defenseman, Kris Letang was out due to suffering a stroke on Monday. The Penguins had a determined, if not urgent, pace.

The report card won’t be as important as the Penguins’ chalkboard below. The team game was impressive.

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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.