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Insider Only Post-New York Observations: Lack of killer instinct could become a long-term issue

Post-Game Report
*– Pittsburgh dominated in almost all areas of the game that included a roaring comeback only to see it go away.
Trailing 1-0 with less than three minutes remaining in the game, Chris Kunitz and Matt Cooke scored 38 seconds apart and Pittsburgh made a dramatic comeback to take a 2-1 lead with 1:53 remaining in the game.
To help the Penguins cause, immediately after Cooke’s goal, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was given an unsportsmanlike conduct for slamming and throwing his stick across the ice.
Pittsburgh had a 5-on-4 power play to close out the game and appeared to be on their way to a 3rd straight win. However, the New York Rangers would end up being the team to earn their 3rd straight win.

The Rangers who played with a ton of character, shocked the Penguins lackluster No. 1 power play unit as Marc Staal jumped in on the rush, scoring a game tying short-handed goal with 1:26 left in regulation, tying the game at 2-2.
Staal found an open lane as three Penguins went towards the puck carrier Brandon Dubinsky below the left half boards, and Staal one-timer shot got past Marc Andre Fleury.
Moments later in overtime, Dubinsky would strike again as Ryan Callahan tapped in a perfect pass from Dubinsky on a 2-on-1 break to win the game for the Rangers, 3:38 into overtime.
On the play, a falling Zbynek Michalek led to the 2-on-1 break and Dubinsky undressed defenseman Paul Martin to set up Callahan for a wide open goal.
*– The Penguins were stunned a group but other than failing to close out a game when they should have, the Penguins did a lot of good things in the win which is what players were stressing afterwards.
“We played well and did a lot of good things,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “We made a couple of mistakes late and we were only able to get one point out of it, but we did a lot of good things.”
Pittsburgh dominated in several areas, outshooting New York 39 to 25 and were dominate in the face-off circle, winning 43 of 68 draws.
They ran into a hot goaltender as Lundqvist made 36 saves in the win and was superb.
*– Despite the Penguins doing a lot of good things and earning a point, their inability to close out the game while having a power play is inexcusable and their lack of ability to put teams away could become a season long problem.
Two primary reasons for that is the lack of skilled players upfront and an inconsistent power play that lacks a “killer instinct”.
Pittsburgh was 0-for-6 on the power play in the loss.
Pittsburgh falls to 9-8-2 with the loss.
*Marc Andre Fleury continues to take baby saves. He made 22 in the loss.
*Kris Letang led the Penguins 31:41 of ice time.
*Mike Comrie returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for three games. He’ll be right back in the press box once Kennedy’s back. Comrie continues to look a step slow in all areas of his game, especially when it comes to his reaction time.
More to come in the morning

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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