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Penguins Report Card: Star Power, a Brilliant Jarry, and a Big Finish (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby
Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) and Evgeni Malkin (71) look for the puck as they crowd the crease in front of New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31)] during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry was pretty good. Actually, he was brilliant as the Penguins bugaboo of giving up odd-man chances reared its head throughout the first period and intermittently throughout the game.

New York Rangers goalie Igor Sheterkin was also really, really good. He, too, danced between the pipes, especially against the Penguins’ top line with Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust, and Jake Guentzel. That line had no less than a handful of chances within 10 feet.

Yet neither team scored an even-strength goal. The Penguins ended their three-game losing streak with a 1-0 win. Jarry was just a little better than possible Vezina winner, Shesterkin. Jarry stopped all 27 shots. Shesterkin 25 of 26.

In the end, the Penguins stars were just a little better than New York, too.

“It had a playoff feel to it. There was a lot of energy in the building. It was a great crowd, first and foremost. Both teams were playing with a lot of emotion, and so it, without a doubt, had a bit of a playoff feel,” Sullivan said. “…I was really pleased with our team. I thought we competed hard. You know, we talked to our team before the game and yesterday just about making sure we’re defending hard, and I thought we made a concerted effort in that regard.”

Oh, and Sidney Crosby was outstanding. Crosby played part agitator, part energy line, part superstar on Sunday. The chalkboard isn’t very complicated, but the player grades has a few standouts.

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