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Super Duper

by Kaitlin Zurawsky / Pittsburgh Penguins
Pascal Dupuis is known for being a defensively responsible forward, but so far this season he’s being rewarded for his efforts on the stat sheet.

With 19 points (6G-13A) in 24 games, Dupuis is on pace to have his most productive NHL season since entering the league in 2001 – but is staying humble in his accomplishments.

"It's good to contribute, but at the same time the team's doing really well," Dupuis said. "It's good to be a part of it."

The 32-year-old forward's contributions put him on track to best his career highs of 20 goals and 48 points, set through 80 games in 2002-03 – his second full NHL season with the Minnesota Wild.

His 13 assists rank second on the squad while his 19 points ties for fourth with Kris Letang – not to mention he's got a team-best plus-12 rating.

He's been producing like that despite being entrusted with over two minutes of shorthanded ice time per game, to name one of his defensive responsibilites.

Dupuis’ fast, physical style fits in perfectly with both head coach Dan Bylsma’s system and the players he skates alongside, and that’s been shining through.

"Playing with good players helps a lot. Taking chances and opportunities," Dupuis said. "I just seem to be able to put it in the net right now."

Dupuis' teammates recognize the importance of having the speedy winger on the roster.

"We kind of complement each other and do the same types of things," linemate Chris Kunitz said. "It's great to see him achieving close to career bests."

"He's a key to our penalty kill and we've seen this year he's been able to play the point in the power play," Kunitz continued. "He's got speed which is a deadly weapon with his ability to get in on plays have a feel for where the puck is going."

While he stepped up in the absence of key players early in the season, Dupuis has continued to maintain his high level of play with the Penguins virtually at full health.

"I think when guys are out of the lineup and he got chances at new things, but when he got those opportunities he made the most of it," Kunitz said. "He's got confidence and has been playing top hockey while he's been in Pittsburgh."
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