Assistant coach Gary Agnew gives his three impressions from the bench of the Pens’ 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
1. We didn’t get off to the start that we wanted to. We looked lethargic. We weren’t moving pucks quickly. We weren’t getting on pucks quickly. When that happens it feeds the other team’s transition game. I thought they were coming down our throat early and often.
2. Marc-Andre Fleury gave us a chance. He made some big saves in the first period, a couple of great glove saves. He kept us in it until we did eventually get our feet. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.
3. I thought the two new guys (Ben Lovejoy and Ian Cole) fit in nicely. They both complemented their partners and read the game properly. It was a tough night for them to come in like that. I thought both Cole and Lovejoy did a good job.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box.
1. New Additions
The Pens’ two newest defensemen, Ian Cole and Ben Lovejoy, made their season debuts. Cole was paired with Rob Scuderi while Lovejoy skated alongside Derrick Pouliot. Both blueliners faired well in their first game with the team while learning a new system. They both seemed to fit their partners well. Lovejoy logged 19:27 minutes of ice time while registering two shots and three hits. Cole had 12:20 minutes and threw four hits.
The most glaring difference between the Avalanche and Pens in the first two periods of the game was on the forecheck. Colorado was able to gain the offensive zone, cycle, and possess the puck for extended stretches, tiring out the Pens. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh was never able to mount any sustained pressure. They had moments from time to time, but couldn’t put them together to really establish themselves.
In the third period, the Pens came on strong. They dominated possession and had the Avs on the ropes. However, they could only land one blow from Evgeni Malkin to cut the deficit. It looked like it was only a matter of time before the Pens tied the game. However, Gabriel Landeskog put in the dagger goal with five minutes left that sealed the game.