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Penguins/Blues Recap: Hutton hard to score on, Pens lose 3-0

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The Pens power play goes 0 for 5 and Pittsburgh drops a rare home game tonight to the visiting St. Louis Blues

@STLBlues

Pregame

Welcome back Brian Dumoulin fresh back from a December broken jaw, otherwise

1st period

The Penguins get an early power play when Scottie Upshall takes down Scott Wilson (and Wilson leaves the game injured for most of the first period) but don't score. Nick Bonino hits a crossbar.

The Blues then get a power play and do score when Colton Parayko gets all the time and space in the world to wind up and fire a big slapper that beats Matt Murray 5-hole.

Shots end up 13-13. Pens sleep-walking at this point for the most part.

2nd period

The Blues keep playing Ken Hitchcock hockey; boring but effective. They stretch the lead to 2-0 when Ryan Reaves gets past Justin Schultz and on a breakaway and Schultz can't tie him up and Reaves to his credit makes a nice shot on Murray. 2-0.

With 2 minutes left in the 2nd, NBC displays scoring chances as 10-5 in favor of STL and that feels about right. At the end of the period, shots are 23-21 Pens.

3rd period

Pittsburgh gets yet another power play early in the period courtesy a too many men penalty, but again no dice. Evgeni Malkin hits a post but can't quite find pay-dirt.

Pens can't get anything going and that's the game.

Some Thoughts

  • Some 16 minutes into the game, NHL.com had the Penguins had just 6 shots on goal (giving up 12). Worse, only 1 forward (Malkin) had an SOG, the other 5 all came off the stick of defensemen. Worse still, a reminder the 1st period contained two full 2 minute power plays as well, where the Pens were running 4-forward units. But then they jumped up to 13 by end of period, so woke up a little I suppose.
  • Random observation of nothing more than an eye test: Olli Maatta caught my eye tonight making a couple of long lead passes with authority. Might have stood out if only since he hasn't been making too many of them recently.
  • Gotta tip the cap to Carter Hutton, not having a good season but this is his 2nd game in Pittsburgh (first coming with his last team, Nashville) and had a shutout. And tonight was much of the same.
  • The Pens spent 8 minutes out of the first 42 (or 19% of the game) on the power play. Later it would be 10 minutes out 48 or about 20% of the entire game. Couldn't buy a goal. Just one of those games.
  • After coming back from so many deficits, especially at home where they rarely lose,
  • Interestingly enough, ex-Penguins Robert Bortuzzo and David Perron each recorded assists (on separate goals).
  • Only 3rd time shutout this season. Stinks after averaging 6 goals in the last 4 games but that's that darn law of averages, eh?

One more game for Pittsburgh before an all-star weekend and break for most the gang, and it will be Thursday in Nashville.