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Penguins Report Card: Using the D-men, and Creating Chances (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins game, LA Kings, Evgeni Malkin, Jan Rutta, Jason Zucker

The LA Kings controlled the first period. They owned territory, forced the Pittsburgh Penguins to play a plodding perimeter game, and stuffed their zone entries at the blue line.

Yet the Penguins scored three goals on eight shots in the first period. LA scored none.

The Penguins beat the LA Kings 6-1 at PPG Paints Arena. Get Dave Molinari’s Penguins recap here.

You can also watch the five-minute PHN Penguins postgame from PPG.

The game was Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan’s 300th Penguins win. He’s already the Penguins’ all-time winningest coach, though Thursday’s win probably won’t rank amongst his favorites.

The Penguins were opportunistic, but that’s a nice way of writing that LA goalie Cal Peterson gifted a couple of goals.

The Penguins will face more teams like LA, which clog or stack defenders at the blue line. What the Penguins learn and how they respond to future strategies will be a tell-tale sign of their makeup.

Their defensemen were

“…I give our players a lot of credit. They’re competing hard to get pucks to the net. They’re going to the areas where they need to go to create opportunities,” Sullivan said. “It’s not easy to score in this league. And the fact that we’ve been able to create the offensive production so far in this early part of the season is encouraging.”

Penguins Chalkboard

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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.