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Pens Report Card: It All Came Together, Finally in Win Over Caps | PHN+

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Power play
PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 14: Pittsburgh Penguins Right Wing Bryan Rust (17) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the first period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals on February 14, 2021, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

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.”

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