With only two games this past week, the Pittsburgh Penguins went 1-1 in the Oct. 27- Nov. 2 week. With a 7-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers and a 2-1 OT loss to the Edmonton Oilers, one big thing stood out for the Penguins. A combined 89 shots over the two games this past week showed an emphasis on getting pucks on net. With just the two games, this also allowed them to get some needed rest and have everyone healthy. The Penguins will need to continue to get pucks on net and have great goaltending on the back end to maintain their success. Every Sunday, we will take a look at the Penguins’ three stars and highlight the club’s best performing players of the week.
Third Star: Sidney Crosby
A regular feature in the three stars series, Sidney Crosby yet again has been one of the top players for the Penguins this past week. He has found continued success with wingers Jake Guentzel and Dominik Simon and that was on display against the Flyers. Assisting both of his linemates and scoring one himself, he is continuing to put together another MVP-caliber season.
In a game where the entire team struggled to get the puck in the net, Crosby was still playing at a high level against the Oilers. Continuously lined up against Connor McDavid, the two stars battled the entire game and showed why they are the top two stars in the NHL right now. His passing was crisp and he set up his teammates with quality chances. Crosby is still dominating the face-off circle and the Penguins will continue to lean on their star.
Oct. 27- Nov. 2 Stat Line: 1 goal, 2 assists, 8 shots, plus-2
Second Star: Matt Murray
In a week where the Penguins took 89 shots, Matt Murray still had a standout week, allowing three goals in the two games. With 55 saves on 58 shots, he was strong all week in net, just like he has been this season. Against the Flyers, he was dominant in net and outclassed his opposition with timely saves to keep the Flyers out of reach.
Murray was a star against the Oilers. While he didn’t face nearly as many shots as Mike Smith, his saves were equally impressive. What seemed like countless times, the Oilers had an odd-man rush and Murray continually came up with a big save to keep the game close for the Penguins. Even in defeat, he made a few spectacular saves in overtime before ultimately conceding the winner. Murray has been on top of his game this season, has remained healthy and is the backbone for the Penguins.
Oct. 27- Nov. 2 Stat Line: 55 saves, .948 save percentage
First Star: Dominik Simon
Thought by some to possibly be a healthy scratch before the season started, Simon has found a home on the Crosby line. Against the Flyers, he was all over the place with a goal and two assists. Simon is taking more shots but also looking to set up his teammates for scoring opportunities, which has led the top line to be one of the best lines in hockey over the last few weeks.
Like the rest of the Penguins, Simon was stifled by the Oilers netminder Smith but he still put himself and others in promising positions, a promising sign that his success will continue. It is nice to see him finally living up to what fans expect from him. With five points in his last five games, Simon is in fine form and performing well for the Penguins.
Oct. 27- Nov. 2 Stat Line: 1 goal, 2 assists, plus-2
Each week, a point system will be in place that will be updated. The third star receives one point, the second star receives two, and the first star gets three. Agree or disagree with the stars of the week? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @joshkaradeema.
- Sidney Crosby- 7 points
- Matt Murray- 3 points
- Dominik Simon- 3 points
- Brandon Tanev- 3 points
- Patric Hornqvist- 2 points
- Kris Letang- 2 points
- Jared McCann- 2 points
- Sam Lafferty- 1 point
- John Marino- 1 point