ALLEGHENY HEALTH NETWORK

Kovacevic: Penguins now know they’re better

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Chris Kunitz and Drake Caggiula celebrate Kunitz's goal Sunday night at PPG Paints Arena. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

I mean, jeez, Dominik Simon, anyone ever teach you to take a dive when a stick's flung up into your face?

"It's not what I'm used to," he'd answer me over a bloody bottom lip.

Really? Not even when the other team had just drawn two penalties through blatant dives?

"It's not what I'm used to," he'd repeat before heading out for stitches.

Hm. Well, good for him, I guess.

Not so good for the Penguins' overall outcome, though, as they'd be beaten by the abysmal Blackhawks -- yes, again, for an absurd 10th consecutive time -- by a 5-3 count on this Sunday night at PPG Paints Arena. It might have been different had Simon taken a spill when he was caught in the mouth by a loose blade from Chicago's Dylan Strome with 3:32 left ...

... but he didn't. He stood tall while checking his face, kept skating, kept playing. And because of that, I'm sure, neither of the referees, Dan O'Halloran nor Brad Meier, raised his right arm for what would have been a four-minute power play that would have covered the rest of regulation and afforded the Penguins a far better chance to tie, rather than giving up the empty-net goal that ended their eight-game winning streak.

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