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3 Impressions: Flames 5, Pens 2

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens’ 5-2 loss against the Calgary Flames.

1. Speed Kills
The Pens have played some fast teams this season and have performed very well. However, they just couldn’t keep up with the Flames tonight. The Pens were always a step behind the play and it caused a lot of confusion in the defensive zone. Calgary appeared to have the Pens’ off balance all game and was able to make offensive plays with relative ease. The Pens play a zone defense and the Flames speed forced some miscommunication and breakdowns. Due to that, Pittsburgh’s 5-man support, which has been so solid all season, broke down.

2. Musical Chairs
After two periods, the Pens were looking for a spark. They switched up a lot of their lines and saw many new combinations at forward. Even Daniel Sprong got a look with Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby. Other trios were Kunitz-Crosby-Bennett and Fehr-Bonino-Hornqivst. None of the moves resulted in goals, but it did seem to give the Pens some jump in the final period.

3. Work Ethic
The Pens entered the third period trailing by two goals. However, they played their best hockey in the final frame. The Flames, for whatever reason, played very passive in the third period and Pittsburgh took advantage. The Pens won puck battles, drew a penalty, were aggressive and outplayed Calgary in the final 20 minutes. The Pens outshot the Flames, but failed to score. Still instead of rolling over and just finishing the game, the Pens showed some backbone to keep fighting until the final horn.

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