Head coach Mike Johnston gives his three impressions from the bench of the Penguins’ 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
1. You have to take the positives from that game. We came out with a lot of fire, energy, had two or three empty nets in the first period and couldn’t punch it home. I still thought through the game we had chances, minimized their chances.
2. (Daniel Winnik’s penalty) had a huge impact because it gave them a little bit of momentum. They didn’t have much going on in the first period, except for Mason. I thought Mason was really solid in the first. They got momentum and energy off their power play with the goal. That gave them some life. But we still had a clean slate in the second period and then the third period.
3. This is a results business, but you still have to build on it. You have to take what we did well (Saturday) and today. Still we need more. We have to find more. We have to dig down and search for more, but take a lot of the good things we’ve done in the last two days and put them into the Ottawa game. It’s a results business. You’ve got to win games at this time of the year.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box.
The Pens’ PK has been one of the best in the NHL this season. They entered this afternoon’s game with the No. 2-ranked unit in the league with an 85.5 success rate. However, Philadelphia had the league’s third-best power play with a 22.9-percent rate, and it was the Flyers that won that head-to-head battle. Philadelphia converted its first two opportunities and it was a deciding factor in the game. The first one tied the game at 1-1 with 42 seconds left in an opening period that the Penguins dominated. The second gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the second period. Pittsburgh desperately needed the PK to bail them out and they just couldn’t pull it off.
The Penguins completely dominated the opening period, outshooting the Flyers by a 22-4 mark, yet the score was even at 1-1. The main reason for that was the goaltending play of Steve Mason. He was brilliant between the pipes for Philadelphia. He also had a little luck and some assists from his posts, but there’s no denying he was magnificent. When a team puts 47 shots on net and only one goes in, your goalie is doing a lot of things right.
3. Big Guns
If ever the Pens needed their big guns to step up and deliver for them in a game, it was this one. Pittsburgh needed a big game from Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, David Perron, or Chris Kunitz, but they weren’t able to come through and deliver. The only player to pick up a point of those men was Perron, who had an assist. The rest were held off the scoresheet. That doesn’t mean those guys didn’t play hard. They certainly got their chances. But the time for chances is over. Now it’s crunch time. The time to produce is here.