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‘Simplified Version’: Penguins Report Card vs. Anaheim Ducks (PHN+)



Dominik Simon Pittsburgh Penguins
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 10: Pittsburgh Penguins Right Wing Dominik Simon (12) forechecks during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Arizona Coyotes on November 10, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Penguins shutout the Coyotes 4-0. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

The Pittsburgh Penguins played conservatively Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks. The Penguins pulled back on the forecheck in favor of a structured counter-attack and primarily played just 10 forwards but they finally found the rhythm which eluded them in the first three games of the season. Jake Guentzel scored the game-winner with assists from the other members of the Penguins top line, Sidney Crosby and Dominik Simon as the Penguins beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 at PPG Paints Arena.

Head coach Mike Sullivan called it a “simplified version.” We won’t argue. The scheme was easy to see; it was a classic counter-attack 1-2-2. Crosby’s line often pushed the first “2” up to the blue line to create more pressure, but the other lines used the neutral zone. It was effective.

Sometimes, it pays to skip the fancy wrinkles, breakouts and just play the game straight up. After a few chaotic games, the Penguins appeared to be on the same page, and they earned an important two points with their second win. It may seem academic, but 2-2-0 is much better than 1-3 and the concern which would have followed.

The Penguins also dressed John Marino for a second consecutive game. Sullivan heaped praise upon the young defender in the postgame press conference.

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