Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Penguins player reports vs Senators: Martin, Orpik earn high marks; Letang doesn’t grade out well

Premium Post-Game Player Reports

Game 5 – Sunday, January 27, 2013

Penguins @ Senators

Centers

Sidney Crosby| shootout goal,  even rating, 3 SOG, 2 BS, 1 TK 1 GV, 24:25 TOI, 16 FW – 15 FL, 51.6%

Scored a beautiful back hand goal in the shootout. Crosby, though, continues to struggle to score goals against the Senators in his career. Has just 5 in 23 career games and missed a great scoring opportunity near the end of the second period when Pascal Dupuis created an Erik Karlsson turnover on the right half boards and Crosby came in with time and space down the right side and couldn’t beat Anderson. Bylsma relied heavily on Crosby in the faceoff circle where he took 31 faceoffs overall. Crosby was 7 of 12 on draws in the defensive zone.   | Grade: C+ |

Evgeni Malkin | 1 Assist, shootout goal,   even rating, 2 PIM, 1 hit, 4 TK, 1 GV, 25:21 TOI  4 FW – 6 FL, 40%

Scored game clinching shootout goal and setup James Neal for the Penguins lone regulation goal. On the goal, Malkin stole the puck in the neutral zone, got around Zach Smith and made a perfect cross-ice feed to Neal who buried it past Anderson. Malkin was still plagued by a few bad decisions with the puck and failed to bear down on the puck in the neutral zone on Greening’s goal, but he had a team-high 4 takeaways and when Malkin is creating takeaway’s, he’s at his best. In the offensive zone, Malkin was 2 of 3 on draws.   | Grade: B |

Brandon Sutter | 0 points, even rating, 3 SOG, 1 BS, 1 GV, 16:28 TOI, 9 FW – 4 FL, 69.2%.

Sutter was not smart with the puck for the second straight game, which has been concerning and has yet to give the Penguins much in the offensive zone.  One area of strength tonight, though, was in the faceoff circle. Against Winnipeg Friday night in offensive and defensive zone draws, Sutter was a combined 1 for 9. Tonight vs Ottawa he was a combined 6 of 8, going 4 of 5 in the offensive zone. | Grade: C-

Joe Vitale | 0 Points even rating, 1 BS 1 TK, 1 GV, 9:56 TOI, 6 FW – 5 FL, 54.5%

Joe Vitale got to his game in getting to pucks with speed. Continues to play well.| Grade: C+|

Wingers

James Neal | 1 Goal, shootout goal,  even rating, 2 SOG, 1 BS, 5 hits, 1  GV, , 21:53 TOI

You can’t give this guy a second or he will put it past you. Neal and Malkin who have emerged as maybe Hockey’s No. 1 center/winger tandem,  and Neal opened the scoring at 13:31 of the 1st period with a beautiful one timer goal, taking a cross-ice feed from Malkin. What Neal does so well is get to the right spots. As Malkin created the turnover in the neutral zone and came down the left side, Neal read it perfectly and didn’t just go all out to the net. He slowed up reading the play and went to the perfect spot just inside the right circle. It’s not just his shot that makes him one of the games most dangerous goal scorers. It’s also how he thinks as a goal scorer. Grade: B  |

Eric Tangradi | 0 Points, +1, 1 SOG, 3 hits,  8:18 TOI

Tangradi had an effective center drive on Neal’s goal and that’s what he has to do, but let’s not go overboard here and start thinking he can be a fit with 71 and 18. Maybe for a shift or two but that’s it. Tangradi’s center drive on Neal’s goal is a standard play that an NHL player is suppose to make when going on the attack like that. What I did like from Tangradi tonight was throwing his body around a bit more. Played more aggressive. Coming into tonight’s game, Tangradi had just 3 hits in 4 games. Tonight he had a season high of 3. | Grade: C |

Chris Kunitz | 0 points, even rating, 1 SOG,  3 Hits, 20:34 TOI

Kunitz got to his game on the forecheck and his wall play was strong but didn’t get much going offensively at even strength.| Grade: C |

Pascal Dupuis | 0 Points, even rating, 2 SOG, 2 PIM, 2 Hits, 1 TK,  17:41 TOI

Has been very strong on the forecheck and that continued. Near the end of the second period with around a 1:45 left, Dupuis took out Karlsson with a hard check on the right half boards, leading to a turnover and Sidney Crosby coming in for a great scoring chance but was stopped by Anderson. Dupuis continues to do the little things well of late but is not finishing plays like he did last season when he scored 24 goals. Grade: B- |

Matt Cooke | 0 Points, -1 rating, 2 SOG, 1 BS, 2 Hits , 11:43 TOI

Got stopped on a second period breakaway and other than that, continues to create little offensively. I’m not sure if his legs are there but Cooke just hasn’t been a force on the forecheck either.| Grade C- |

Tyler Kennedy | 0 Points, -1 rating, 4 SOG, 2 Hits, 11:49 TOI

He’s known for shooting too much and had 4 shots on goal, but Kennedy passed up some opportunities in tight around the net and tried to get too cute at times. | Grade: C |

Tanner Glass | 0 Points, even rating, 1 SOG, 2 BS, 3 hits, 14:24 TOI

Dealing with a minor shoulder injury, there was some question whether Glass would play. He got to his game on the forecheck and had a few productive shifts down low and as a net front presence with Malkin and Neal, but when you have to use a Tanner Glass at times with 71 and 18, you got an issue in the top-6. | Grade: C |

Craig Adams | 0 Points, even rating, 2 SOG,  1 BS, 5 hits, 9:06 TOI

Was very physical and had a team-high 5 hits. Delivered a few crushing hits and established some zone time on the cycle. Grade: B- |

Defensemen

Kris Letang | 0 points, +1, 4 SOG,  1 BS, 1 hit, 2 GV, 29:10 TOI

It was another sloppy game from Letang and he has not been great with the puck. His ability to get the puck in the zone and setup the power play was poor. Through five games, Letang is lacking the consistency of a top tier defenseman| Grade: D- |

Ben Lovejoy | 0 Points, -1 rating, 2 SOG, 1 GV,  13:20 TOI

Despite playing with just five defensemen for the final two periods, Lovejoy saw 24 seconds less of ice time than he played against the Winnipeg Jets Friday night. Offensively, he’s been effective at keeping plays in on the wall and joining the rush which the Penguins want to see from him, despite getting caught deep on the Senators goal following the Penguins turnover near the team’s bench. | Grade: C |

Matt Niskanen | o points, even rating, 1 SOG, 1 TK, 6:39 TOI

Niskanen left the game with a lower body injury and will be re-evaluated in Pittsburgh. | Grade: N/A |

Paul Martin | 0 Points, -1 rating, 2 SOG, 2 BS,   30:26 TOI

Logged a team-high 30:26 of ice time and through five games Martin is looking like the Paul Martin from New Jersey that had team USA saving a spot for the injured Martin on the Olympic team until the last possible minute and had several teams chasing him in free agency during summer of 2010. He’s been very poised and calm with the puck and defensively he’s had a very good stick. You get a step on him and that’s it. He’s shutting the opposition down.  Martin is 8th in the NHL in even strength ice time per game at 19:53.  | Grade: A- |

Brooks Orpik | 0 Points, +1,  1 SOG, 9 BS, 2 hits, 1 GV,  28:28 TOI

Had an outstanding game, seeing 28:28 of ice time. The Penguins wanted to match the physical Orpik up against Speeza and Orpik didn’t give Jason Spezza much inside. Orpik and the Penguins defensemen as a whole did a solid job in keeping the Senators to the outside and not getting to the net with authority which is their game from their wingers. Orpik had a game high 9 blocked shots and he leads the NHL with 17 blocked shots as of tonight. Grade: A- |

Deryk Engelland| 0 Points, Even rating, 3 BS,  3 hits, 1 TK, 14:23

Had solid defensive performance. 3 blocked shots and 3 hits on the night.  | Grade: C |

Goaltenders

Marc Andre Fleury | 2-1-0, 32 Saves on 33 Shots, .969 save percentage |

Played really strong and it started with his positioning. Fleury was aggressive in coming out at shooters and squaring up. Look for him to get the start Tuesday night and Vokoun go Thursday night at MSG. | Grade: A- |

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

Comments Disabled

Comments have been disabled for this post.