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3 Impressions: Hawks 3, Pens 2 OT

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens’ 3-2 OT loss against the Chicago Blackhawks.

1. Stars Align
With lineups featuring the names Crosby, Toews, Malkin, Kane, Letang, Keith, Kessel, Hossa, Fleury, Crawford, the Pens and Blackhawks featured two star-studded teams in a showdown for intergalactic supremacy. And as is wont in these situations, it came down to the performance of the stars. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang connected for Pittsburgh in the third period to rally. But it was the Russian rookie Artemi Panarin who scored two goals, including the game-winner, that decided this affair.

2. Measuring Stick
It was unfortunate that Pittsburgh lost this game. The Pens outplayed Chicago for much of the game. Pittsburgh generated quality scoring chance after quality scoring chance. And they held the Blackhawks’ quick rush attack in check all game. In fact, the Blackhawks had only one odd-man rush the entire game (though Chicago did score off of that rush). The Pens went toe-to-toe and blow-for-blow in the most exciting overtime to date and proved that when they are playing their best, the Pens can play with anybody in the NHL.

3. Don’t Call it a Comeback
For a team that couldn’t win when trailing after two periods of play for much of the past season and a half, the Pens are slowly changing that identity. They trailed 2-0 after two periods of play to the defending Stanley Cup champions. And they came out in the final frame and took it to their opponent. They connected twice to force overtime. Though they ultimately fell, that “never say die” attitude is great to see.

With lineups featuring the names Crosby, Toews, Malkin, Kane, Letang, Keith, Kessel, Hossa, Fleury, Crawford, the Pens and Blackhawks featured two star-studded teams in a showdown for intergalactic supremacy. And as is wont in these situations, it came down to the performance of the stars. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang connected for Pittsburgh in the third period to rally. But it was the Russian rookie Artemi Panarin who scored two goals, including the game-winner, that decided this affair.


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