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Eastern Edge: The Age of the Defenseman

March 29, 2016

Morgan Rielly and a few others may soon be among the next generation of elite offensive defensemen. ...

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Hockey News

Young guns, veterans come through for Penguins

Fri, 27 May 2016 16:15:39 +0000

Fitzgerald Cecilio - 4E Sports Reporter

Pittsburgh, PA, United States (4E Sports) - The Pittsburgh Penguins' young lineup and their experienced bunch came together in time to book a date with the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final.

With a new group and a new coach, the Penguins were slow at the start of the season but gradually became faster after Mike Sullivan took over behind the bench for Mike Johnston on Dec. 12.

They went 33-16-5 after Sullivan took over, an impressive record that grows in stature when you consider they lost the first four games he coached.

They were 14-2-0 in their last 16 games of the regular season, including 15 without Evgeni Malkin and went 12-6 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It hasn't been easy," said Sidney Crosby after the Penguins finished off the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Crosby and the Penguins are four victories from winning the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2009. And he will try to accomplish it together with young players such as

rookie forward Bryan Rust and rookie goalie Matt Murray

Rust scored each Pittsburgh goal in Game 7 while Murray made 16 saves on 17 shots in their Game 7 win.

Aside from them, the Penguins' veteran role players like Chris Kunitz , Matt Cullen and Eric Fehr stepped up in the win.

"We did a great job of becoming a certain style of team," Kunitz said. "We grew as a group. We learned through our struggles. I think that's our biggest thing. We came out better on the back end."

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