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Get to Know a Penguin: Brian Dumoulin

As part of the build-up to the second-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Penguins, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Penguins and how they might impact the series.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Dumoulin

#8 / Defenseman / Pittsburgh Penguins

6-4 |  207 |  September 6, 1991

Biddeford, ME |  51st, 2009 (Carolina)

Assets Has great size, mobility and puck-moving qualities from the back end. Can also produce a fair amount of offense at lower levels. Also owns the ability to log a ton of minutes and play a shutdown role.
Flaws Panics a bit under pressure and make mistakes with the puck on his stick. Could stand to become more of a physical presence in the NHL, so he needs to make better use of his 6-4 frame.
Career Potential Big, mobile and minute-munching defenseman with a little upside. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via The Hockey News player page)

Career 25-Game Rolling Five-on-Five Corsi-For Percentage:

Dumoulin Rolling CF%

2015-16 Even-Strength Usage Chart:

PIT Usage

Why you should know who he is: In his first full NHL season, Dumoulin developed into a top-four blueliner for Pittsburgh, logging big minutes (the second-highest total among Penguin blueliners, and fourth-most per-game), despite fairly minimal special teams time. Those trends have continued into the post-season, with the 24-year-old Dumoulin and Trevor Daley forming a solid second pair, one that's largely capable at both ends of the ice, but won't be confused with a shutdown duo any time soon.

Despite his mobility and decent numbers at lower levels, Dumoulin hasn't been much of an offensive producer in the NHL: he's fired just 108 shots on net in his NHL career (one of which went in) and had 16 helpers in 79 games this year. But he was arguably the Pens' most-effective skater against Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom this year, and if you can contain those two, no one cares if you're chipping in with offense of your own.

How the Caps can stop him: This is going to be a common theme when talking about stopping the Pens' defensemen: the Caps' forecheck will need to be aggressive and finish checks, without chasing pucks or taking bad penalties. With good execution on the forecheck (we're looking at you, Tom Wilson, Jason Chimera, Daniel Winnik, et. al.), a guy like Dumoulin can be had. And when he doesn't have the puck, driving the net and hopefully forcing him to take some penalties of his own (though he doesn't take many) would be nice.

Previously: Matt Murray | Patric Hornqvist | Tom Kuhnhackl | Eric Fehr | Nick Bonino | Conor Sheary