Post-Game Player Reports
Game 4, Wednesday October 11, 2017
Penguins 3 @ Capitals 2
(Grade Scale: 0.00 – 5.0)
Sidney Crosby| Grade: 3.5
Crosby had a power play assist and posted a 48 CF% in the win. Crosby has points in all four games but was limited to one shot on goal for the second straight game. In the faceoff circle Crosby was 14-14 (50%) and rebounded after a rough first period, though he struggled mightily on offensive and defensive zone draws. Crosby was 3-11 (27%) on offensive zone draws and 3-8 (38%) in d-zone.
Evgeni Malkin | 3.9
Malkin was pointless in the win but he was active again in all threw zones. Had 4 shots on goal, 6 attempts and led all centers with a 53 CF% (17/15) at even strength. In the second period created an offensive turnover and just missed beating Holtby upstairs on a quick breakaway chance off the turnover.
Greg McKegg | Grade: 2.7
With the Penguins holding a 3-1 lead early in the third, McKegg took a slashing penalty at 1:38 of the period and then a high sticking penalty, 4:18 later. The stick penalties, though, didn’t land McKegg in the dog house as he would still see six shifts for the rest of the period. Offensively McKegg didn’t have a strong game in managing the puck.
Carter Rowney| Grade 3.6
After a strong game vs the Predators, Rowney saw his even strength minutes increase vs the Capitals, playing 9:08 during 5 vs 5 play and he led all Penguin forwards on the penalty kill in playing 4:56. Rowney’s ability on the PK is one way to separate from McKegg when Pittsburgh upgrades the third line center spot.
Jake Guentzel | Grade: 3.7
Drew an offensive zone penalty in the second period and it was his most active game in getting pucks to the net. Guentzel had 4 shots on goal and 5 attempts.
Conor Sheary | Grade: 4.1
Through four games Sheary has been very up and down. Two high-impact games, two very low impact games. Sheary was strong in the win vs the Capitals. Netted the game winning goal in getting to the tough areas, hit a post in the second period off a rush play but I what liked most from him was the composure he had with the puck in certain situations. Was patient in creating offense, especially when possessing the puck off the wall.
Bryan Rust | 4.1
Rust in line for a new contract is off to an excellent start to the season. He continues to be very active offensively. Assist, 4 Shots on goal vs the Capitals. Rust has 5 assists on the year. Rust has also shined on the penalty kill in staying in passing lanes and pressuring very well with his speed along the wall. He’s emerged as a threat shorthanded as he gets the opposition on their heels.
Phil Kessel | Grade: 3.0
Kessel had no points and a minus-1 rating vs the Capitals. Defensively, it wasn’t a good night for Kessel as he lost his man (Christian Djoos) going to the net on the Ovechkin goal as Kessel got caught puck watching. Held to 2 shots on goal, Kessel’s goal production during 5 vs 5 situations will be something to still monitor. Dating back to last season, Kessel has just 2 even strength goals over his last 27 regular season games.
Carl Hagelin | 3.6
Hagelin played 18:15 and had a season-high 4 shots on goal and played 3:52 on the PK. His speed game is back to 2016 type levels in how he’s creating chaos when tracking the puck but whether he gets back to that 15-17 goal a year level remains to be seen.
Tom Kuhnhackl Grade: 3.8
Kuhnhackl got his first career power play point on Patric Hornqvist’s power play marker with a strong net-front presence that kept the play alive on the goal. Where Kuhnhackl made his best mark was on the penalty kill. Outstanding game in how he took away passing lanes with his stick and the skating continues to look improved. That performance will keep him in the lineup vs Tampa.
Patric Hornqvist | Grade: 4.1
It’s rarely pretty with Hornqvist and that what he brought to the table in the win. Goal, Assist in 15:23. This clubs just feeds off his energy.
“He brings so much to this team. He plays with so much swagger. He’s just a great competitor. He’s just awesome to have around” — Mike Sullivan on Patric Hornqvist
Ryan Reaves | 2.5
Played just 8 shifts and was less of a presence in the physicality game as Saturday night.
Kris Letang | 4.3
Letang’s best game of the season. Logged 27:09 of ice time, had a goal and strong possession numbers, on the ice for 20 shot attempts, 12 against at 5 v 5.
Brian Dumoulin | Grade: 4.4
Dumoulin was fantastic in the win. Played 5:30 on the penalty kill and his game also stood out away from the defensive zone. In the second period Dumoulin made a slick pass to Patric Hornqvist in the neutral zone as John Carlson stepped up and Hornqvist got the puck to McKegg for a 2-on-0 who fed it over to Sheary who hit the post upstairs.
Then late in the second period, Dumoulin jumped in the play below the goal-line, gained possession and held onto the puck long-enough where he drew a penalty with 4.5 seconds left in the period. Pittsburgh would score on the ensuing power play.
Olli Maatta | Grade 3.7
Justin Schultz | Grade 3.9
Chad Ruhwedel | Grade 2.3
Ruhwedel struggled badly with the Capitals size down low. He was no match for Alex Ovechkin in front for Ovechkin’s goal and was caught running around far too often. Pittsburgh was bleeding shot attempts when Ruhwedel was on the ice.
Matt Hunwick | Grade 3.7
The smart decisions Hunwick makes with the puck and without the puck have started to show the last two games than they did the first two. He made a great read on Hornqvist’s power play goal and in driving to the left post and Crosby tried to hit him for a back-door goal.
Matt Murray | Grade 4.0
Murray stopped 20 of 22 shots to improve to 2-0-1 on the season. Until Murray gave up a bad goal late in the second period, he looked unbeatable for much of the game. Played big again and tracked the puck extremely well on side-to-side plays.
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