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Report Card: Marching Penguins Stomp Flyers, Wingers Take Flight (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Bryan Rust, Evan Rodrigues

The Pittsburgh Penguins now own the longest winning streak in the NHL this season. Thursday, the Penguins won their 10th game in a row as Sidney Crosby’s wingers scored four goals, Crosby had a pair of assists, and the Philadelphia Flyers were not a match for the Penguins. The Penguins rolled to a 6-2 win.

Kris Letang had three assists, too.

“You want to come in strong in the first period and try to set the tone right away because they have tons of injuries. But at the same time, there’s a lot of young guys trying to prove themselves,” Letang said. “So they’re going to bring the intensity, they’re going to bring to the work ethic. So you don’t want to fall into that kind of a groove and play sloppy. But I thought we played pretty well.”

The game was significant not for the opponent they beat but for putting more distance between themselves and the Flyers in the wild-card race. The Flyers are now two games below .500 and sinking. With a decimated lineup and a few more games before players start returning from COVID, the Flyers could be out of the playoff race very soon.

I’m sure Penguins fans will offer emotional support for the Flyers.

The game was further important for continuing the rising tide of confidence that is floating the Penguins. Down 3-1 to St. Louis? No problem. Get sloppy against a bad Philadelphia team? No problem. The Penguins have shown an ability to course correct.

“We don’t talk a lot about the standings. We’re focused on the one task at hand, the game in front of us,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said. “We also understand the big picture. When you can bank points early in the season, you put yourself in a better position in March or April.”

It’s much like a roll you’ve seen before.

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