Despite Loss To St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins Should Feel Good


Mar 23, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Brenden Morrow (10) shoots the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland (5) and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) defend the net during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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The Pittsburgh Penguins fell 1-0 to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, but they played one heck of a game against arguably the best team in the NHL.

Not a lot of scoring chances were there for either team and the only goal that was scored came a little over midway through the third period when David Backes deflected a puck right in front of Marc-Andre Fleury. It was one of the best screens I have ever seen.

There was one thing that caught my eye that the Penguins did really well: their defense was just sensational. Pittsburgh had probably one of its best defensive games of the season and Kris Letang and Paul Martin weren’t even in the lineup.

They had very few turnovers and they blocked a ton of shots Sunday. Olli Maatta had a pretty solid effort and it looked like Rob Scuderi finally had an effective game, which he hasn’t had for the past couple of weeks. Matt Niskanen was also as good today as he has been all season for the Penguins.

If the Penguins can play defense like they did Sunday down the stretch, they’re going to be a hard team to beat in the playoffs. Also, Martin and Letang are hopefully coming back in April as well, so we may have something cooking really soon for the Penguins.

The forwards also played well today, but it wasn’t the best day for the power play which went 0 for 5. The Blues are one of the best penalty-killing teams on the road this season so that could explain why there wasn’t a lot of success.

The bottom line is that the Penguins went toe-to-toe with the best team in the NHL. They should easily build off this loss and come back better.