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Penguins Monday scrimmage: Marleau scores twice as practice tightens up

A 3-3 game on Monday morning for the Penguins who came back against the Penguins with a late goal to earn the draw

@penguins

The Penguins were back at it on Monday, having another intra-squad scrimmage. Sidney Crosby missed his second straight day of work since apparently suffering some sort of minor issue on Saturday. The lines to begin were as follows:

Team Black:

Jake Guentzel - Evan Rodrigues - Conor Sheary

Jason Zucker - Evgeni Malkin - Bryan Rust

Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang

Jack Johnson / Justin Schultz

Matt Murray

Team Gold:

Patrick Marleau - Jared McCann - Sam Lafferty

Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Brandon Tanev

Marcus Pettersson / John Marino

Kevin Czuczman /Chad Ruhwedel

Tristan Jarry

Period one scoring

—It doesn’t take long for Team Black to pick back up dominating. On the opening shift, Jake Guentzel skates the puck up the neutral zone and fired a perfect pass to Evan Rodrigues who walks right down main street with no defense in sight. Rodrigues deked to the backhand and lifted the puck top shelf on Tristan Jarry. 1-0 Team Black

—Team Gold gets their first goal. Kris Letang makes a bad pass up the ice that Sam Lafferty intercepts. Lafferty feeds Patrick Marleau with a long pass at the goal-line and Marleau is able to get it by Matt Murray. 1-1 game.

—In the second period (checks notes), um Jack Johnson does something good? Fires a laser past Jarry’s glove. 2-1 Team Black

Chad Ruhwedel finds a loose bouncing puck and scores from in-tight to score it for Team Gold at 2.

A sweet long outlet pass from Marcus Pettersson puts Brandon Tanev and Teddy Blueger on a 2-on-1. Tanev gets a pass through the defense of Johnson and Blueger finishes it in front of the net. 3-2 Team Gold

As the clock it ticking down towards the end, Team Black ties it at 3. Marleau deflects in a John Marino point shot and practice concludes.

Some random thoughts

—Rodrigues’ hands in full effect, at one point he did a nice job using his feet to recover a Guentzel pass, and another deke gives him a shot on Jarry. Save is made this time, but so far Rodrigues has a lot of jump and looks great out there

—As usual now, Jared McCann worked with the top power play group. So did Jason Zucker in Crosby’s absence. Those two joined the three staples (Malkin, Letang, Guentzel) with today’s top group

—Very interesting play that the Pens worked twice off an offensive zone faceoff win, with McCann working his way into space and getting a short pass from Letang and then taking a shot from distance. That said, it didn’t look like it had a chance of working either time, McCann doesn’t really have a tremendous wrister from distance.

—Marleau, Sheary, Rust, Schultz and Marino were the second power play

—Rodrigues, interestingly enough, was working as a penalty killer. That’s an eye towards the future, if Rodrigues is playing in playoff games this summer it’s more likely to be as a PKer

Malkin picked his intensity up a little later in practice, but didn’t look as laser-focused as Saturday. Cause for concern totally zero. Ditto for Letang, who made a bad pass up and isn’t really going at full speed yet either.

—Liked the day for the Pettersson-Marino pair though, especially with them going up against the big guns. Tall task but a good way to throw those guys into the fire.

—It’s fun to watch Sheary and Guentzel in this format too. It’s a practice scrimmage, not a ton of physicality, intensity or battles, perfect for smallish skill players to stand out all the more. And, clearly, a 40-goal guy like Guentzel doesn’t need all that to pop, but it helps even more when it’s there. Sheary’s a blast to watch, his hands look great in this venue and setup and he’s making plays all over the ice. Hopefully he builds on it and it carries over as the season continues to ramp up.