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Penguins Sputter to 4th Straight Loss; Letang Struggles in 3-1 Loss to Kraken

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, loss to Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE — The Seattle Kraken scored four goals in the second period. Through the magic of replay and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ deft spots, only two of the goals counted.

The Penguins briefly controlled the second period and claimed a 1-0 lead when Jake Guentzel (2) stole a pass at the defensive blue line and raced the length of the ice to finish a two-on-one.

However, one minute later, Seattle tied the game (again) and scored another legit goal late in the second period. Seattle beat the Penguins 3-1 at Climate Pledge Arena Saturday.

The Penguins’ puck management was again an issue worth noting or outright harping on. The Penguins had 10 giveaways and one takeaway. Combined with Seattle’s credited eight takeaways, that was 18 possessions the Penguins turned over.

The Seattle game winner was courtesy of another Penguins turnover.

Late in the second period, Kasperi Kapanen charged the offensive zone, but a blind backhand pass went to the other team. Seattle transitioned two-on-one. Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith stopped former Penguins prospect Daniel Sprong’s shot, but Morgan Geekie (2) chipped the rebound across the goal line.

After more than 30 scoreless minutes, the teams combined for three legal goals in less than eight minutes.

Seattle also scored two in the second period, which were overturned. Early in the second period, Jordan Eberle raced past Jan Rutta, then Marcus Pettersson before deking DeSmith out of the net. Ryan Donato slammed the dribbling puck into the net, but the review quickly showed the play offside.

Jordan Eberle (1) scored soon after as Jan Rutta and Evgeni Malkin vacated the Penguins’ net front in a defensive zone gaffe.

Later in the second period, Seattle again appeared to score. Andre Burakovsky freed himself in the slot for a rebound goal, but reviews showed the play should have been stopped for high-sticking.

The Penguins failed to mount a furious challenge in the third period, but instead sputtered down the stretch. Kris Letang committed a couple of turnovers and a bad interference penalty.

A few Penguins led the team with three shots after the first 50 minutes. The Penguins mustered only 23 shots into the latter stages of the third period.

Sidney Crosby only had one shot on goal.

Guentzel was the Penguins’ best forward. He and Rakell led the team with three shots with seven minutes remaining.

Penguins center Jeff Carter was injured in the second period and left the game. He played only 4:18.

Guentzel and Jason Zucker were game-time decisions. Both played. The game was the Penguins’ fourth straight loss, as they were winless on their western road trip, after beginning the five-game trip with a win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Jaden Schwartz scored the empty netter.

The Penguins were outscored 18-6 on the western portion of the road trip.

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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.

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Jeff Young
Jeff Young
1 month ago

Desmith and Saucier were awesome. Glad 42 only got three shifts in the third (one shorthanded). Heckuva road trip.

Loved seeing the Barrasso jersey down in the corner. That’s great stuff!

Cal
Cal
1 month ago

5-1,…er..3-1 loss. This team looks slow right now. The lack of offense is mind boggling. The whispers of the core players contracts is probably starting to heat up.

Uros
Uros
1 month ago

Looks like a mental or locker room problem. The team is excellent and I wouldn’t point fingers at any particular player. This looks like something that is solved higher up. There’s no line combination or some other player that will magically make this go away. I’ve rarely seen Crosby so frustrated and neurotic. Whatever it is, I hope they can put their finger on it. It looks like someone flipped a switch, but it’s too dark to locate it again and flip it back on.

Last edited 1 month ago by Uros
James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Uros

I completely agree with you. They look like they aren’t on the same page at all.
Their problem seems to be team wide. Coaching and leadership is not delivering cohesion. Their passes aren’t connecting, they aren’t supporting one another. Everything looks like it’s in disarray.
I don’t think I would even feel differently if they would have somehow pulled out a win last night.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Looks like the coach did good at least winning two challenges to take goals away.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Going to be a long season if this inconsistency continues like the Steelers unfortunately. Maybe someday Pittsburgh can have a competitive Ball club? Only’s been 43 years since they won a World Series.Time for new ownership who cares and is not about the money.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Uros

Maybe old age is catching up and these long road trips don’t agree with them anymore.

Cj hood
Cj hood
1 month ago

Desmith was a liability last night. 10 ft out of the crease on almost every save. Embarrassing.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Should’ve kept Rakell on the First line. At least he looks consistent unlike Rust. I know, they’re just trying to balance lines. Think they should’ve shook the lines up a few times with Rakell on the first. Ironically the players who were questioned by fans like Joseph Archibald and Poehling and Pettersson have been more consistent and playing like they want to compete. As far as the Franchise Core Especially Letang Malkin and Rust at times? Especially Letang with his minus rating. Crosby seems to be snake bitten as well at times. In Fairness it looked like one of those… Read more »

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I could have done without 42’s assist on that GWG.

Sir Guises
Sir Guises
1 month ago

Also, the fact that the old 29’er didn’t notice 77 wasn’t even on the bench speaks volumes for that line.

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