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Penguins giveth Penguins taketh away

April 12, 2024, 2:35 AM ET [217 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
No shortage of drama in Pittsburgh on Thursday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins outlasted the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 6-5 in overtime. We saw Sidney Crosby get his 1,000th assist and move into the top ten in league scoring history, a Jeff Carter shorthanded goal, egregious defensive mistakes by Erik Karlsson, a Lucas Raymond hat trick, and then Karlsson answering for his prior mistakes with the game winner in overtime.

With the victory the Penguins are back in a playoff spot after getting help from the Buffalo Sabres who beat the Washington Capitals in regulation. The Penguins now control their own destiny. They have standings points in ten straight games which has coincided with ten straight Alex Nedeljkovic starts.

It should come as no surprise Sidney Crosby helped lead the way to victory. He scored his 41st goal of the year and added two assists. Those points were huge in the present and huge in the bigger picture. His assist on the overtime goal gives him assist number 1,000 in his illustrious career and also pushes him past the great Phil Esposito for tenth all-time in points in league history. The last player to push into the top ten in scoring? Jaromir Jagr in 2008.

Here’s a list of some of the players Sid has dished to over the years

He’s up to 89 points on the year and the team is going to need him to have more if they are going to get across the finish line and into the playoffs.

Bryan Rust scored a goal and had an assist and continues to be a complete gamer in high stakes games. Throughout his career he’s the kind of guy you can count on in these scenarios. His goal was his 27th and ties his career high. He is usually the one on the receiving end of a great Crosby pass and in this game he returned the favor with a splendid east to west pass leading Crosby for a tap in

One of the biggest plays of the year belongs to Jeff Carter. He used his reach to deflect a puck out of the zone while shorthanded and then followed it up to score the Penguins fifth goal while shorthanded. This was a snapshot back to how Carter looked when he was first acquired by the Penguins a few years back.

Carter’s goal was almost effectively erased by Erik Karlsson. The Penguins defender had a five minute stretch of hockey that would draw the ire of a youth hockey coach. He bailed from the front of the net for no reason at all for the Red Wings fourth goal and pinched unnecessarily on the Red Wings fifth goal. Mistakes a future hall of famer in his 999th career game shouldn’t be making. It was really inexcusable. After terrible mistakes the only thing you can do is try to make up for it. Karlsson did so by scoring the game winner in overtime by hammering a slap shot home.

I wasn’t feeling good about the Penguins chances in overtime, but they did a nice job of playing keepaway with the puck for the most part. My concerns are the Penguins ability to keep up with other team’s skating ability with all the extra ice. One way to mitigate that problem is by having the puck and keeping it even if you have to exit the zone and regroup. The Penguins can’t go up and down the ice like they used to so this was a good way of going about things.

Up next the Penguins will host the Bruins on Saturday night. It’s a huge huge game and a huge task. This is definitely the Penguins hardest game left on the schedule this year. I think it will be an uphill battle, but I also think the Penguins are in playoff mode where they will try and scrape and claw their way to victory to the best of their ability. With the Red Wings having two of their last three games against the lowly Montreal Canadiens the Penguins can’t afford to lay an egg on Saturday.

Things are ramping up.

Thanks for reading!
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