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Snaps Shots: Pens 6, Rangers 5

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Thoughts, musings, and observations from the Penguins 6-5 win against the Rangers at PPG Paints Arena.

* The Pens needed this win. Not just for the standings, though after slipping out of a playoff spot they certainly needed the points. But mentally, Pittsburgh needed a win like the one they got today. One where they blew a 3-1 lead, and then grinded it out in the third period despite New York's valiant comeback attempt. 

* Evgeni Malkin is back. After posting two goals and three points on Saturday, Malkin added two more goals on Sunday for a five-point weekend. Most impressive was his second goal. It was a patented slam-on-the-breaks, spin-o-rama backhander into the top corner. 

Video: NYR@PIT: Malkin pots spinning backhander

Nobody scores on those spinning backhanders quite like Malkin. Has anyone in the NHL done it better?

A hot Malkin is exactly with the Pens need for the stretch run. 

* The Pens got some goals from the back end. The opening four goals for Pittsburgh came from the club's defensemen - Kris Letang (2), Marcus Pettersson, Brian Dumoulin. The team's blueliners also combined for six points in the contest.

* Pettersson scored a power-play goal on a nice play. It began with Nick Bjugstad making a crossing pass through the Rangers' PK box to Pettersson on the other side. From there, the Swedish D-man slapped a perfect one-timer inside the far post for the tally.

* It was great to see Dumoulin get on the board with a tally. On Saturday he tied a career high with five shots against Calgary (he threw eight pucks on net total). Dumoulin has seemed more willing to jump into plays and be aggressive to create some offense. It paid off for him today. 

Dumoulin is more known for his great defensive play than his offense. But don't worry, he did an outstanding job defending too. And showed some courage by diving headfirst to block a shot by Chris Kreider in the slot.

* Incredible work by the Pens' PK unit. They were especially clutch in killing a four-minute double minor high-sticking penalty to Sidney Crosby. The penalty started at the end of the second and bled over into the third.

The game was 3-3 at the time and New York was riding the momentum of consecutive goals. If the Rangers had scored on that man-advantage, the Pens probably lose this game. Instead they responded with a big third period to finish off New York.

* Shout out to Jake Guentzel for a terrific screen on Letang's second goal of the game. He plotted himself right in front of Alexandar Georgiev. The Rangers' goalie never saw the puck coming.

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