Injuries and Insult, Penguins Lose to St. Louis Blues 5-2
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Injuries and Insult, Penguins Lose to St. Louis Blues 5-2

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Pittsburgh Penguins Score vs. St. Louis Blues

(PHN) — The Pittsburgh Penguins did not enjoy the mid-west this weekend. On Friday night, Columbus embarrassed the Penguins which didn’t put up enough effort. Saturday, the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues worked them over in the third period and cruised to a 5-2 win as 13 St. Louis skaters scored points at the Enterprise Center.

The Penguins lost two in a row and are suddenly looking tired and unable to compete after competing well for weeks without captain Sidney Crosby. The loss of energetic winger Bryan Rust on Friday morning carved another piece out of the Penguins lineup which has been ravaged by injuries. And things got worse for the Penguins, too. In the first period, defenseman Brian Dumoulin tangled with a forechecker and appeared to injure his right leg. He played only 35 seconds and did not return to the game, which forced the Penguins to play with only five defensemen.

The Penguins missed a couple of Grade-A chances in the first period. Just one minute into the game, Jake Guentzel was alone in front. Dominik Simon also had an uncovered look from point-blank range but St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington stoned both.

The Malkin line with Guentzel was dominant and outchanced their opposition 10-1, but didn’t put the puck in the net, which doomed the Penguins.

Midway through the first period, St. Louis put the Penguins in a familiar position, which means trailing in the first period. St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk pushed a long wrist shot towards the Penguins net. Goalie Matt Murray failed to make the routine save.

The Penguins pressed St. Louis in the second period with 19 shots and tilted the ice. Early in the period, AHL callup Sam Lafferty received a breakout pass and hit full speed through the neutral zone. Lafferty (4) buckled defenseman Derrick Pouliot’s knees as he flew by for a breakaway goal.

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“If we keep bringing that same effort and clean up a few things, I think we’ll be good,” said Lafferty.

However, St. Louis forward Nathan Walker fooled Murray later in the second period when swatted a fluttering puck out of the air from 25 feet away. The fluttering and bouncing puck surprised Murray and the second period also ended with a one-goal St. Louis lead.

The Stanley Cup champions bombarded the Penguins in the third period. They pressured the Penguins and converted chances. Early in the final period, St. Louis winger Ivan Barbashev was the uncovered trailer in the slot. Barbashev (4) sniped the top corner over Murray’s shoulder for the additional breathing room.

A few minutes later, St. Louis put the dagger in the Penguins when McKenzie Maceachern sneaked behind defenseman Jack Johnson and deflected a pass into the net. St. Louis led by three goals midway through the third period, which is usually when the Penguins threaten a comeback.

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang gave the Penguins some hope with seven minutes left. Letang (7) blasted a slapshot towards the net which deflected off St. Louis defenders and closed the lead to two goals.

However, the Penguins penalty killing unit again faltered. Chad Ruhwedel took a tripping penalty later in the third period, and the Penguins PK left Jaden Schwartz alone in front of the net. As the PK piled into the corner fishing for a loose puck. Schwartz (7) had time to stickhandle in front of Murray without pressure and easily chipped it into the net.

Murray allowed five goals on 27 shots. Fellow rookie-winning Stanley Cup-winning goalie Jordan Binnington was good and stopped 28 of 30 shots.

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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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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ricardo58

    November 30, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Losing their best overall D-man in 8 certainly hurt the Pens chances. Playing without 8 is more difficult for the Pens to overcome than playing without 58 IMO. 58 is very strong on O, but not so much on D.
    The loss of 17 was significant too.
    The body language of 35 is awful right now let alone his actual play at times throughout the game. I wonder why 35 poke checks as a little as he does.
    I know the Pens won recently vs Vancouver with a strong effort and offensive production, but the D and goalie(s) gave up 6. The team D has been on a down swing which can happen during a 82 game season.
    Tremendous goal by 37.
    Hopefully the Pens can muster a couple of wins in a row and build confidence.
    I know most of these injuries have been fluke instances, but are the Pens doing anything conditioning wise or in practice to increase the chance of injury. Just a curious thought.
    Go Pens!

  2. Jackson James

    December 1, 2019 at 6:30 am

    I don’t get a few things here. Not like it would have a major impact but it would be better than what we’ve seen. Sullivan’s refusal to keep Rikola in the lineup consistently is mind blowing. Especially when one considers that he has the teams supposed “8th” defenseman who hadn’t played in nearly a year, and a guy who was just called up from the AHL. And both of the two are playing exactly like their above descriptors.
    And you have a superior talent riding the pine because of his supposed inability to play as well on his off side, and/or not playing well enough when he was in. Yet we have to suffer through the defensive atrocities of last year (still, the nightmares persist), the gawdawful play from the 5th/6th D these past 2 games and Sullivan only throws Rikola out there…AS A FORWARD!!!???
    So a guy who is miles better than our 3rd pair, playing defense his entire career can’t get in a game because our coach thinks he can’t play on his off side (which is B.S. btw) and is concerned about him making mistakes…yeah, that’s right, the very same mistakes that our current 3rd pair is consistently making. So then, worried that he can’t play defense because of the inability to play on his off side, Sullivan inserts him instead at A POSITION RIKOLA HAS NEVER PLAYED HIS ENTIRE CAREER!
    But Sullivan, the media golden child is never pressed to give a real answer. We will just get another piece bashing any player and placing the sole blame on them, usually with a marketing catch phrase along the lines of being harder to play against , or this years absolutely ridiculous phrase of “playng the right way”. A phrase the media eats up and dwells on. Never mind that the team full of apparent guys in uniform on skates (can’t call them hockey players if they don’t know how to play the right way)has a core group more successful than any other in franchise history, and is the most successful team of this entire generation. But because Sullivan says that they aren’t playing the right way, everyone believes him, the media don’t see how utterly ridiculous that entire phrase actually is or who defined the singular “right way” to play hockey and if it is the only way hockey is played, how come every one isn’t doing it?
    I swear to god, I like Errey but during a game last week they were talking about a random play Geno made and Bob actually said, “That right there. That’s because Malkin has finally learned how to play the right way! Sullivan is showing him the right way of playing hockey”
    I wanted to puke. That is the drivel that they are trying to force feed you. And our media is clueless or so shortsighted you get articles like the one on this website that when after a mere 13 games this year (and nearly 40 last year), Dom Simon FINALLY gets an actual multipoint game we get an article with the smug headline of something like “Face it, Simon belongs on the top line”. Yeah great analysis guys. It only took 50 games playing next to the greatest player of this generation for Simon to achieve such, but since he is Sully’s boy, since Sully defended him on many occasions, the media will do the same. Not question why, if so valuable he is making the league minimum, or why that multipoint game only saw his 2nd goal of the season (or 4th in 50+ games). Or maybe show an example of another contender who has a league minimum guy who gets the 3rd most ice time amongst the teams forwards…more than your 9.5 million dollar generational talent, Hart, Conn Smythe, Pearson and many other trophy winning center who has scored more points than anyone on the team (and 99% of the league) over the past two years is getting. Let’s also not notice how once teams figured out how incredibly useless Simon is as a threat and used his man in the defensive zone as an extra on Sid and Jake, that line went colder than even the Mike Johnston led team and Crosby was more ineffective than ever in his entire career. Or how the next 4 games saw Crosby get 0 goals, 0 assists and obviously 0 points while going -7 over that span. Or how in the 14 games since this site said to face the fact that Simon belongs on the top line he hasn’t scored a single goal. With more ice time than almost all of our forwards, he has a single goal in 21 games. Kessel had a long drought also but he had years worth of consistently filling the net which told us that Phil was top line talent on a drought. Simon has years worth of only droughts. No evidence of ever hinting at being a top line player yet this site, so short sighted, so eager to fall in line or just so ignorant, that he makes his Simon declaration after getting caught up in the excitement from a single game and never bothers to truly look or think about how RIDICULOUS a statement it is despite all of the evidence available.
    This is why we don’t get answers. And as for analysis? This site constantly pats itself on the back for making obvious statements that will inevitably happen only to crow loudly at it’s brilliant insight once it does, yet wanted Kessel gone, based on this entire “rigt way” mantra that everyone knows was Sully exerting his power, and doesn’t even understand the specifics surrounding this one, right way of playing. The same analysis telling us how we are all wrong and Simon, is a first line player. Yeah teams be ringin GMJR up salivating at the chance of getting Dom and his top line talent.
    This team will not win another cup with Sullivan as a coach. And Sullivan will figure out a way to continue to dismantle it turning it into an average, one line team with fast grinders while our press and fans continue to discuss whatever mantra is currently happening rather than the true cancer this team employs.
    Which is sad because they had the assets in place for several cup runs.
    But hey, as long as we go out the “right way”.Because if we’re apparently playing the right way, why do the end results look as mediocre and under achieving than ever?

  3. BIG B

    December 1, 2019 at 11:45 am

    I agree with most of what you wrote Jackson. I can’t be the only one who can see that Malkin has not changed his game as he tries to do it all makes stupid drop passes to nowhere etc.It is being covered up by a hot offensive streak which i believe is more the result of Rust and Jake than Malkins changed play.He is great offensively but he is headed the way of last years Kessel a great hot start and still not playing the right way and when the offense dries up and it will watch the disaster if Sid is not there to cover the mistakes.

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