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‘We Have It, We All Know It,’ What Penguins Need for Playoff Push (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

ELMONT, NY — One question. Three players. One answer.

The Pittsburgh Penguins locker room provided near-verbatim answers about what must improve following the holiday break for the team to make a push for a playoff spot.

When PHN spoke to each, the singular word was consistency.

Marcus Pettersson, Noel Acciari, and Sidney Crosby each began their response to our conversation with similar variations of the words, “I think it’s just consistency.”

Pettersson provided specific examples while acknowledging the frustration. Crosby offered an interesting explanation of why it has been a problem.

“It’s kind of just consistency. I think we played (some) really good games (with) really good structure. And then there are some games where you kind of lose it a bit,” said Acciari. And I think if we can keep that consistency in games, we’ll be okay.

“I think if we can play a little more consistently on certain things, certain areas, I think we have it in this room. We all know it. We’ve just got to put it all together.”

But it wasn’t until coach Mike Sullivan explained the rationale for shuffling the lines for Wednesday night against the New York Islanders — putting Drew O’Connor on Evgeni Malkin’s line and Valtteri Puustinen with Lars Eller — that the other paramount necessity launched into focus.

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