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Mike Sullivan Hopes to See Both Penguins PP Units Gain Momentum

The power play of the Pittsburgh Penguins has had a tough go, but they hope to be gaining steam.

PITTSBURGH - The struggles of the Pittsburgh Penguins power play were temporarily improved upon when Kasperi Kapanen scored two of his three goals against the St. Louis Blue on the man advantage.

One key to notice about that change in trend, however, is that it was the Penguins second unit capitalizing on the opportunities.

The first unit has continued to struggle, recording only one goal in eight games; that one tally was also on an awkward 4-on-3 situation.

Mike Sullivan said that he thinks the success and momentum created by the second unit can bleed over and boost the first group.

“These guys by nature are competitive guys,” Sullivan said. “They all want to do well, they all want to excel.”

The players are aware of their recent lack of success, but still have a competitive nature and want to be better and help the team win games.

Sullivan brought up that the two groups not only hone their craft, but have friendly competition against each other every practice while working on the power play.

“They compete against one another in practice to try and score more goals,” Sullivan said. “That helps both units be at their very best.”

Regardless of which power play unit is displaying success in games or at practice, everyone is working together for the same goal and that’s to win hockey games.

“From a team standpoint, everyone is rooting for one another to try and help the team win,” Sullivan said. “That’s what makes a team a team. If one unit doesn’t score, the other unit does, it helps us win games.”

The Penguins have a very offense heavy power play system, with players who can score with ease on both power play lines.

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel highlight the first set with Jason Zucker and Bryan Rust on the second.

Each of those names are capable of helping turn the Penguins power play into a juggernaut, it’s just time to get the tires rolling.

“Both units are very capable,” Sullivan said. “We’re making headway. I think they’ve gained some traction. Hopefully we can continue to build on that.”

The Penguins have plenty of time to turn their power play numbers around, but it’s got to start gaining ground soon.

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