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Discover ‘Road to the Cup': Pittsburgh Penguins

May 28, 2013, 12:04 PM EST

OTTAWA, CANADA - MAY 22: James Neal #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates a first period goal with teammates Pascal Dupuis #9, Sidney Crosby #87 and Craig Adams #27 against the Ottawa Senators in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, at Scotiabank Place, on May 22, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins are scoring their way through the playoffs.

That’s been the story from the first two rounds of the postseason, as Pittsburgh leads the NHL in almost every significant offensive category: goals per game (4.27), power play percentage (28.3) and plus-minus (+10).

Individually, the Pens are lighting it up as well.

Four Pittsburgh skaters rank in the league’s top six playoff scorers: Evgeni Malkin (16 points), Kris Letang (16), Sidney Crosby (15) and Jarome Iginla (12).

Meanwhile, winger Pascal Dupuis shares the goalscoring lead with Crosby, with seven goals each.

This is the kind of production Pittsburgh expected when it finally got all its star players on the same page. The trade deadline acquisitions of Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray were huge, but it took a while (and some injury recovery) before they had a chance to gel with the likes of Crosby and Malkin.

Now, it seems like they’ve gelled.

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The big question for Pittsburgh moving forward will be if it can continue to score enough to overcome its defensive question marks.

The Pens have had issues keeping pucks out of the net, and needed to switch goalies midway through the playoffs after Marc-Andre Fleury struggled in the opening-round series against the Islanders.

Tomas Vokoun took over from there and has played well — 6-1 record, 1.85 GAA, .941 save percentage — but there remains some doubt that the 36-year-old journeyman will be able to perform when put under serious pressure.

(With all due respects to Ottawa, the Sens didn’t make life overly difficult on Vokoun in Round 2.)

All this said, Pittsburgh looks like a team that’s figured it out offensively and finding ways to get it done defensively. Since taking over in Game 5 of the New York series, Vokoun hasn’t allowed more than three goals in a single contest.

For a team that averages over four per game, that’ll be just fine.

  1. agc99 - May 28, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    The flower has wilted.

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