The Pittsburgh Penguins had a third period lead, and they held it not by sitting back but by attacking. And grinding away down low. They also broke the power play jinx of an 0-for-21 streak and have climbed back into a tie for a playoff position by beating the Washington Capitals 6-3 Sunday at PPG Paints Arena.
Special teams wear a primary factor, but hardly the deciding factor.
Credit the Penguins for several adjustments, and credit the Penguins players for playing their best game of the season. Mike Matheson, Cody Ceci, Tristan Jarry, and even Evgeni Malkin were strong.
The Penguins also held onto the puck and played with creativity. There’s not a chalkboard that can draw up some of the Penguins rushes when Bryan Rust, Sidney Crosby, and Jake Guentzel slipped behind the Capitals. Otherwise, the Penguins limited their mistakes in the defensive zone (there were a few), but none when it counted.
“I just think we’re playing complementary hockey. We’re getting on the forecheck and making plays,” Guentzel said. “It’s pretty fun to play with these guys.”