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Observations from last night’s 5-4 win

There were a lot of things to like last night and a lot of things not to like from the Penguins during their 5-4 win against the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night at Mellon Arena. The Penguins built a 5-0 lead but had to hold off a late Oilers surge who scored four unanswered goals. It has been a common theme for the Penguins not being able to close out games.

Offense breaks out for 11 goals in the last two games
Miroslav Satan has four goals in his past three games and currently leads the Penguins with 8 goals. What more could you ask for from a 33 year old forward who is on the downside of his career. In the past week Satan has been much more effective in 5-on-5 situations since being re-united with Sidney Crosby. It remains to be seen whether he will keep this pace up but he has done a superb job at finding the soft spots in front of the net. The Penguins signed him thinking he still had a 28-33 goal season left in him. So far he’s paying dividends for them
Evgeni Malkin racked up another three assists and now has 21 pts on the season. Malkin only has four goals but that shouldn’t be a worry. The goals will come for him. The same can’t be said for Sidney Crosby. He is playing well but I’m concerned by his lack of goal scoring. Seems like he’s rushing his shots in front of the net
The Penguins are finally getting somewhere with their lines. The issue now is who drops down to the fourth line. Max Talbot has shown instant chemistry with Sidney Crosby and Miroslav Satan. Talbot scored for the second consecutive game and had five shots against the Oilers. Talbot has also been creative in the offensive zone and made a great dish to Sidney Crosby in the first period but Crosby was stopped by Garon.
The Dupuis – Malkin – Sykora line could change and Fedotenko could move into Dupuis spot but where does Dupuis play? With the way Matt Cooke is playing, it’s going to be difficult for Therrien to move Cooke to the fourth line.
As expected Mark Eaton is not happy about being a healthy scratch but has been very professional about the situation. During training camp it became evident that Eaton looked a step slow. Coming off of knee surgery it shouldn’t come as any surprise that it may take him time to rebound but that is also why you don’t throw $2 million per season at a 5th or 6th defenseman in his 30’s coming off of knee surgery and who missed an abundance of games in the last two years.
The Penguins practice today at 11:00 a.m.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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