Assistant coach Rick Tocchet gives his three impressions from the bench of the Penguins’ 5-3 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
1. We got off to the start we wanted, a 2-0 lead, lots of energy.
2. The second period, mismanaging the puck really hurt us. It really, really hurt us.
3. We made a valiant comeback with the effort, but once again we fell short.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box.
The Pens were already trailing 3-2 halfway through the third period when the Blue Jackets’ Scott Hartnell scored a fluky goal that would prove to be the game-winner. There was a scramble at the net and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury appeared to have the puck covered under his body. Hartnell crashed and somehow the puck squeezed out of Fleury’s body and crossed the goal line. The ref told the Pens that he saw the puck the entire time. It was a crushing emotional blow to the Pens.
The Pens jumped out to a 2-0 lead and seemed to be in control during a dominating second period. That all changed in the final five minutes of the frame. Two bad turnovers led to two Columbus goals, and in a span of 2:03 minutes the score went from 2-0 to 2-2. One play was a failure to get the puck out of the zone by David Perron and the team vacated the net area, allowing a 2-on-0 score. The other was another failed clear attempt that later resulted in the game-tying tally. In the third period Derrick Pouliot had a giveaway trying to exit the defensive zone that led to a Columbus transition and goal off the rush.
3. LL Cole J
One player that really stood out for the Pens was defenseman Ian Cole. He is getting better and better with every game and every minute with the team. What I love is his knack for pinching in the offensive zone or joining the rush. It’s not just about being aggressive, but reading the play and making the correct decision. He helped create two Pens tallies in the contest: the first on a pinch that kept the play alive, setting up Crosby with a feed through traffic; the second by joining the rush and making a nifty backdoor pass for Brandon Sutter’s tap-in. Cole has an active career-long three-game point streak (4A).