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PHN Extra: Puck Retrieval Part of Penguins’ Potent Power Play

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PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 06: Pittsburgh Penguins Right Wing Phil Kessel (81) celebrates his second goal of the game with Pittsburgh Penguins Center Sidney Crosby (87) during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders on December 6, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

It’s probably human nature that if something isn’t working, the tendency is to try something different rather than sticking things out. Maybe that’s what was happening with the Pittsburgh Penguins on the power play before things rocketed lately.

There are a lot of plausible explanations for why the Penguins have been clicking so well, first and second units. The power play has scored on nine of 13 opportunities over the past five games, with at least one power-play goal in each of those games.

And that’s just a snapshot. Things have been building since earlier in the season when the power play was inconsistent concurrent with the Penguins struggling. Going into their home game Sunday against Chicago, they rank fifth in the NHL at 27.2 percent. That’s better than last season when they set a club record and led the NHL with a success rate of 26.2 percent.

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Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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