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Penguins’ Dominik Simon can finally smile about stat sheet

Michael DiVittorio
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Pittsburgh Penguins’ Dominik Simon (12) can’t get off a shot as Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) sprawls in the goal crease during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. The Maple Leafs won 5-0.

NEWARK, N.J. – Before the Pittsburgh Penguins’ last game Saturday night against Arizona, there was no way winger Dominik Simon could feel good about the way he was playing.

Sure he had two goals and a plus-1 rating in his previous five games, but the team had lost all five of them. How could he possibly give himself a pat on the back?

One game – Simon had a goal and an assist in a 4-0, slump-snapping win over the Coyotes – has changed his outlook on life at least a little.

As the Penguins prepared to face the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night, he could exhale and smile a bit when discussing his recent form.

“It feels great that I can help the team with a goal last game,” Simon said. “It was a huge game for us. We had five games lost behind us. It was a really big game.”

Simon, who has eight points in his last nine games, redirected in a Bryan Rust pass for his goal and made a nifty feed to Patric Hornqvist from behind the net for his assist Saturday night.

When the topic of how the lack of secondary scoring is hurting the Penguins is broached, discussion usually centers around the team’s third and fourth lines. Expanding the definition of “secondary” to include complementary wingers like Simon, Rust and Hornqvist can make the situation seem a little less dire.

“Everybody’s trying his best to contribute to help the team,” Simon said. “It’s everybody’s job, not just our top two guys. Everybody’s going there wanting to score. It’s great to play with anyone here because everyone is such a great player. I feel like everybody has a chance to score.”

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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