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Penguins Report Card: The 20-Goal Club, Solid Grades…Mostly | PHN+

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Pittsburgh Penguins Bryan Rust

It certainly wasn’t the most exciting Pittsburgh Penguins, and it wasn’t even the most dramatic game this week. Instead, the Penguins game was solid, steady, and measured until the third period. The Penguins coaches attempted to roll four lines, and the Penguins beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2.

But the Penguins let New Jersey back in the game. Again.

“We could do a little better job, I mean, we’ve let teams back in the last few games and a couple of games before that as well,” Cody Ceci said. “So I think just playing smarter with the lead and maybe not taking as many chances, but we’re doing a good job offensively.”

The Penguins outshot New Jersey 28-23 after two periods, though the Penguins relatively dominated offensive possession. However, New Jersey had 13 shots in the third period to the Penguins nine. New Jersey’s shots were high quality, too.

The win put the Penguins in the East Division first place, at least until the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals play on Saturday night. The win also reduced the Penguins’ magic number to six points to clinch a playoff spot.

A few statistical notes–Bryan Rust scored his 20th goal. Sidney Crosby did, too. It is Crosby’s 13th 20-goal season which is a franchise record. Crosby also clinched a point-per-game season, his 16th. He trails only Wayne Gretzky (19) and Gordie Howe (17). Not bad, eh?

Let’s get to the actual Pittsburgh Penguins report card:

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