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Penguins Grades: Crosby & Guentzel Surge, Depth Lacking vs. Cupcake (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby

A win is a win, especially when Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby pile on the scoreboard. Guentzel netted a hat trick and four points. Sidney Crosby had two assists and a goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins top-liners and power-play bombarded the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 at Rogers Arena on Saturday night.

Guentzel had two power-play goals just 70 seconds apart late in the second period. Both goals were 5v3 goals, but the game was in doubt until then, and Vancouver–despite an embarrassingly low shot total–was in the game. In fact, it was tied, 1-1.

“I mean just for some reason, like playing on the road, I think it’s just a good challenge and just obviously some lucky ones tonight to go off three d-men skates or whatnot,” Guentzel said. “So I’m just kind of taking them as they come.”

Guentzel and the Penguins’ top line had two goals to pair with the two power-play goals.

Therein lies the Penguins’ blessing and their problems. Crosby and Guentzel were superb. The rest were about even, though Sullivan called it progress.

“Well, I thought we generated a fair amount of scoring opportunities. Certainly, we had a lot of looks at the net,” said Sullivan. “I thought we had a lot of shots on goal. I thought every line had opportunities. So I think that’s progress.”

For those new to PHN+, the report card is an X’s and O’s breakdown and player grades. They’re not always kind, nor are we swayed by the result or emotions.

The Penguins should be happy. They won. They ended a three-game winless streak. But there is a giant chasm between where the Penguins are now and where they need to be. There were a few chalkboard wrinkles that set the Penguins up success, but a few efforts which weren’t good enough…again.

And not all of the Penguins’ lines were good enough. Again.

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