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NHL - US Sports: Hextall confident in Penguins depth

General Manager Ron Hextall has played down pressure for the Pittsburgh Penguins to bring in additional scoring ahead of the NHL trade deadline on 21st March, saying the answer to their scoring concerns lies within.

The Penguins, 15/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, have relied heavily on their top line of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust plus second-line centre Evgeni Malkin for offence in recent weeks, with the four scoring 43 of Pittsburgh's 74 goals in 23 games since mid-January.

Top-line reliance

Crosby (14), Guentzel (10), Rust (11) and Malkin (eight) have helped the Penguins to a respectable 14-5-4 record during that stretch, prompting Hextall to say there is no panic for the team.

Veteran Jeff Carter ended a ten-game goal drought in a 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, and vowed that he and the Penguins' other forwards know they need to chip in more often as their top players can only carry the load for so long.

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Overall this season, the Penguins are 35-15-9 and sit third in the Metropolitan Division.

Scoring not an issue

The 57-year-old Hextall, who was hired by the Penguins to replace Jim Rutherford on 9th February 2021, said to the media: "I think when you look at our first, maybe, 35 games, the depth scoring was there. Then recently, you can look at the numbers and it's dried up for us. So, they're certainly capable of it.

"I do have confidence that, if we can't do something, we do have enough scoring."

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