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Built for playoff hockey? Wilson, Kuhnhackl starting to separate themselves

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PENGUINS – JETS POST GAME BUZZ

In the Penguins 4-1 win over the Jets, Carl Hagelin had two goals, Marc Andre Fleury made a number of momentum changing saves, including a key breakaway stop with the Penguins up 2-1, and the third pairing of Derrick Pouliot – Ian Cole played a strong two-way game.

The biggest takeaway from this one, though, when looking at the big picture was two bottom-six forwards starting to separate themselves, namely Tom Kuhnhackl and Scott Wilson.

Wilson scored for the 4th time in five games with another playoff style goal in going to the net for a deflection and those are the type of goals he scores. He has a knack for getting to the right spots in prime scoring areas and continues to look like a player whose game is built for playoff hockey.

We might also be heading in that direction with Tom Kuhnhackl. Kuhnackl had no points on the day but might have been the Penguins most impactful player away from the puck.

Kuhnhackl was a puck-hound on the forecheck and the strong hockey sense in all three zones is really starting to show as it did today. It was a bad Jets team but that’s still a pretty good blue line with size.

The last couple games have also seen Kuhnhackl being more and more involved offensively. He created two individual high danger scoring chances.

Good test for both coming up with the Rangers and Capitals this coming week.

TIDBITS

Derrick Pouliot and Ian Cole combined each had two assists and drove possession. Sullivan had high praise for how they exited the zone effectively.

“What really jumped out to me was how they made really good decisions as far as their first pass and getting the puck out of our zone,” Sullivan said. “Winnipeg is a team that likes to forecheck, they put a lot of pressure on teams and I thought they did well working the puck out.”

Carl Hagelin with his first multi-goal game of the season, led the Penguins with six shots and created a team-high 4 individual high danger scoring chances.

Matt Cullen went 13-3 (81%) on faceoffs, including 9-10 (90%) in the defensive zone.

Nick Bonino had an assist and played 12:59 in his first game action since January. Bonino has no goals in his last 27 games.

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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