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PHN Extra: Penguins Report Card in SO Loss to Canadiens

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MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 13: Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Phil Kessel (81) celebrates his goal, making the score 3-3, during the Pittsburgh Penguins versus the Montreal Canadiens game on October 13, 2018, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

The Pittsburgh Penguins played much of the first 40 minutes in their own zone. Montreal could have had their mail sent to the Penguins zone by the time the second period ended. Montreal was outshooting the Penguins 27-11, and finished with 40 shots.

Montreal goalie Antti Niemi could have gone for poutine takeout. And it wouldn’t have mattered (and not in the same, bad way that he could in the brief time he was a Penguin).

The Penguins coaches put the Penguins lines in a Yahtzee cup before the game and came up with a few surprising configurations, including Derick Brassard on Sidney Crosby’s left wing, Jake Guentzel on the right. Riley Sheahan was upgraded to third line center with Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist. Matt Cullen assumed the fourth line center role with Dominik Simon and Daniel Sprong.

Olli Maatta drew in to play with Juuso Riikola as Jamie Oleksiak was relegated to healthy scratch. To compound new lines and pairings, Justin Schultz was injured in the first period, the Penguins had to play with five defensemen.

The coaches shuffled the lines because Vegas dominated the puck, Thursday. It was worse through two periods, Saturday. The Penguins had 14 shots in the third period, so the final statistics do not look as bad but the team just never had sustained offensive pressure.

Penguins Report Card

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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