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Penguins

The stats agree with Sully: Game 3 was Derick Brassard's best game since return

Chris Adamski
| Monday, April 16, 2018, 3:24 p.m.
Penguins center Derick Brassard plays against the Canadiens March 21, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins center Derick Brassard plays against the Canadiens March 21, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.

Eighteen skaters, as is typical, took the ice for the Penguins in their game in Philadelphia on Sunday. Only one was not on it during a Flyers' shot on goal.

It was the sort of thing general manager Jim Rutherford surely was imagining seven weeks ago when he acquired Derick Brassard to be his third-line center.

In 11 minutes and 15 seconds of ice time for Brassard during the Penguins' 5-1 Game 3 victory (including 7:59 at even-strength), the Flyers couldn't muster a shot and managed just five attempted shots – and just two that weren't blocked.

According to naturalstattrick.com, the Penguins took 70.59 percent of the shot attempts when Brassard was on the ice at even strength – the best ratio on the team.

After he'd finished last and third-to-last on the team during Games 1 and 2, respectively, in that category, Game 3 was encouraging for the Penguins in regards to Brassard. He had missed the final five games of the regular season because of a lower-body injury.

"He's getting better with every game he's played," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He's coming off an injury where he hadn't had any opportunity to get into any sort of a flow. We really liked his game prior to the injury; we thought he was really gaining traction. But since he's come back we think he's gotten better with each game he's played. So we're certainly pleased with that. I thought the game (Sunday) was his best. We're certainly hoping he can continue to improve from there."

Brassard had a power-play goal, two hits and won the majority of his faceoffs in Game 3.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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