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Penguins Report Card: Crosby & Malkin Shine, but Not All Great in 6-2 Win (+)



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin

That almost wasn’t fair. The far superior Pittsburgh Penguins did what they were supposed to do against the inferior Arizona Coyotes. One team has a lineup with at least three Hall of Famers still playing at a high level. The other team will struggle to tout even a single All-Star. One team had a handful of 30-goal scorers in its top six. The other … might need a few weeks to score 30 goals.

The Penguins cruised, then fought to a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes at PPG Paints Arena Thursday night in the season opener.

The Penguins’ third line will probably produce similar offensive stats to the Coyotes’ first line. It didn’t hurt that Arizona couldn’t stay out of the penalty box in the first period.

Silly, stupid penalties, including Shayne Gostibehere submarining Evgeni Malkin from behind near the close of the first period.

The Penguins converted two of their first three opportunities, and the wonky preseason power play looked like a juggernaut against the hapless Arizona penalty-killers.

If you have a roster of third- and fourth-liners, they should be good penalty-killers, eh?

Sidney Crosby scored the first goal of the season 82 seconds into the game. Jason Zucker and Jake Guentzel also scored in the first period as the Penguins outshot Arizona, 16-4.

It wasn’t that close.

Malkin also scored a second-period power-play goal from Crosby and Kris Letang. It was fitting on a night when the stars shined.

A few players had performances that popped, but unfortunately, the game was rocky terrain for one Penguins bubble player.

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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.