The Pittsburgh Penguins did not lack speed or offense on Thursday night when they raced past the New Jersey Devils for a 5-1 win and first place in the East Division. Thoughts of the Tuesday night debacle and New Jersey comeback were present, but the Penguins didn’t buckle a second time.
Players admitted they talked about it in the second intermission.
“Yeah (we talked about it). We were telling each other–to hold each other accountable. Not make the same mistake as Tuesday,” Kasperi Kapanen said. “…We’re a good tea. We know how to play well with a lead in the third period.”
Sidney Crosby did what great players do. He jump-started the team from the first puck drop. Crosby was dominant on the first shift, and the Penguins had the game in hand.
The game was far from perfect. Perhaps such things are expected when a playoff-expectant team plays a team that is now 2-12-2 in their last 16.
Kasperi Kapanen was activated from the IR before the game and made an impact almost immediately.
“I thought he played really well. His speed was pretty evident right from the start. He got a really good look early on in the game,” Crosby said. “And obviously, on this goal, he used his speed wide again. So it’s great to have him back in the lineup.”
The game was a full glass of mouthwash from the bitters they swallowed on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh Penguins Report Card (New Format!)
Penguins Team Grade: B-