Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Post-Game: Pens fortunate to get a point; On Crosby’s frustrations; D-zone miscues; Staal suddenly thinking defense not offense with Sid back?

St. Louis 3 – Pittsburgh 2 OT

STL GOALS:Scott Nichol (1), Jamie Langenbrunner (2), Alex Pietrangelo (3)
PIT Goals: Steve Sullivan (3), James Neal (13)
Goaltending Matchup: STL Brian Elliott – 31 saves on 33 shots | PIT Marc Andre Fleury – 43 saves on 40 shots

Post-Game Buzz

Sidney Crosby said it best following tonight’s 3-2 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues. “We didn’t deserve that one, ” Crosby said.
St. Louis (11-8-2) stifled Pittsburgh (12-6-4) through the first forty minutes with excellent gap control in the neutral zone, keeping the Penguins from getting anything going in the transition game.
Pittsburgh was limited to 4 shots in the first period and had just 15 shots through two periods. It was a Ken Hitchcock type of game plan and executed by the Blues.
The Blues though let the Penguins hang around and you can’t do that with a team like the Penguins. Steve Sullivan got the Penguins on the board at 3:03 of the third period on the power play and James Neal sent the game to overtime, netting his 13th of the season with 5:51 left in the third period to tie the game at 2-2.
Pittsburgh rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 but fell in overtime as Alex Pietrangelo scored with 53 seconds remaining in overtime. Pittsburgh was haunted by defensive miscues all night and were fortunate to get a point.

Crosby Hard on himself in loss

Sidney Crosby was pointless in the loss. Crosby logged 18:41 of ice time, including 16:21 at even strength, which was third among forwards behind Jordan Staal (18:23) and Evgeni Malkin (16:25).
He had 1 shot on goal and was 14-for-25 (56%) in the faceoff circle. Crosby has won 28 of 46 draws (61%) in two games this season.
Crosby tonight did not have the type of jump in his legs he had Monday night. He had a great scoring chance early with a quick release but had the puck bobble on him during a few other prime scoring chances.
Crosby after the game was frustrated with his play and the refs. Crosby was called for three penalties in the game.
“Tonight just mistakes, clear cut, ” Crosby said. “Whether it was rust or not being ready or focus, whatever it was, that’s not good enough. “But I gotta make sure I’m much better.”
Was Crosby frustrated with the calls towards him?  “I’m fine with calling it tight as long as it’s tight both ways, and I don’t know if that was the case tonight, ” Crosby said.

Tidbits

Brooks Orpik was a force on the blueline. He had 9 hits, several punishing ones and 8 blocked shots in the game. He brought it tonight.
— Defensive miscues really plagued the Penguins tonight and two of the biggest culprits were Paul Martin and Kris Letang.
Martin’s giveway on the breakout led to a Scott Nichol first period goal and the Blues took a 2-1 lead in the third period on a play where Martin got caught watching the puck, floating towards the shooter, leaving his man in front {Jamie Langenbrunner} on the goal.
Meanwhile, what stood out with Letang tonight was how many errant no look back hand passes he had in the defensive zone, highlighted by his turnover in overtime that kept play alive in the Pens zone on Alex Pietrangelo’s OT goal.
The type of lapses from Letang tonight and of late, is why it’s laughable some try to peg him as the NHL’s best defenseman. He’s a very good one but he’s just not there yet.
— I’m not a fan of making any judgements from two games but Jordan Staal suddenly looks like a player who’s thinking defense not offense since Sidney Crosby has returned.
Evgeni Malkin had 2 assists and was the Penguins offensive player. It was Malkin’s 6th multi-point game of the season. Malkin has 11 points in 9 November games.
— 7 of James Neal’s 13 goals this season have in the left circle/left hash marks area.
— Neal – Crosby – Malkin saw time together when head coach Dan Bylsma was looking for a spark tonight and the line produced the game tying goal. Expect to see that trio be Bylsma’s go-to-line when the team needs a goal.

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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