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Insider Only Penguins – Panthers Player Grades: Crosby stars with impact game in the battle areas

Post-Game Player Reports

Game 6, Sunday October 14, 2017

Penguins 4 – Panthers 3


Game Summary: Sidney Crosby scored 2 goals and Matt Murray made 43 saves to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-1) to a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Patric Hornqvist (2) and Greg McKegg (1) also scored in the win. Florida outshot Pittsburgh 46-33, including 19-8 in the second period


(Grade Scale: 0.00 – 5.0)

Centers

Sidney Crosby| Grade: 4.4

Crosby scored twice with both goals coming from in front of the net for his first multi-goal game of the season and was active offensively with 4 shots on goal and 6 attempts. Crosby has 10 shots on goal over his last two games.

The 2 goal night (also had a goal disallowed) vs the Panthers gives Crosby 3 goals and 5 assists on the season as things are back to normal with him leading the team in scoring along with Bryan Rust (1 Goal, 7 Assists).

Another underrated aspect of Crosby’s game vs the Panthers was offensive zone draws where he won of 6 of 9, including a won draw from the right circle that led to his second goal of the game early  third period.

“I think he’s the best in the game in around net and in close,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Crosby.


Evgeni Malkin | 2.8

Malkin was critical of his performance vs Tampa Bay and did not come back with a good one vs the Panthers. Malkin was pointless and held to just 1 shot on goal. His d-zone play has taken a step back the last two games and he had a poor effort on the Panthers first goal of the game with a turnover near the blueline and then being too passive in front as the last line of defense. Malkin is a team-worst minus-5 on the season.


Greg McKegg | Grade: 3.8

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Olli Maatta | Grade 3.7

Maatta picked up his 4th assist and 6th point of the season in the win. He leads all Penguin defensemen with 6 points. While he got favorable zone starts all game, Maatta led all players with a 66 CF% (19/9). Maatta had the 5th most ice time among d-men (16:56) and significantly less minutes at even strength than Dumoulin/Letang and Hunwick/Schultz. As Maatta struggled a bit with the speed game of Lightning Thursday night, maybe less is better for him.


Justin Schultz | Grade 3.6

Pittsburgh was 1 for 3 on the power play in the win but they still need to find more time for Schultz with the top unit. Schultz had 0:00 power play minutes through two periods until the third period where he had 2:51 of power play time as the Penguins went with two D to protect from shorthanded opportunities.

 


Chad Ruhwedel | Grade 2.9

Ruhwedel can easily be exposed defensively due to a lack of size and strength and was beat off a puck in the neutral zone that led to a turnover on the Panthers first goal of the game and then had a poor read on the leadup to the goal as Olli Maatta shifted over to right D and Ruhwedel still chased the play instead of staying in the net-front area as the left D.

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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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