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3 Impressions: Isles 4, Pens 1

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin gives his three impressions from the management booth from the Penguins’ 4-1 loss at Nassau Coliseum.

1. I thought we had very good goaltending. I thought Thomas played exceptionally well, especially early on in the game.
2. I felt we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be. I just feel like our execution wasn’t that good. I feel like we were probably too far away from each other when we had the puck. That makes it difficult. They’re a very structured team, they’re a hardworking team and you have to have good puck support when you’re coming up the ice and if you don’t, they take away the middle of the ice really well, so that makes it tough.
3. Our special teams didn’t get the job done tonight and I thought that was the difference in the game.

Michelle Crechiolo gives her three impressions from the press box.

1. Billy G. and I were on the same page in terms of thinking that the Pens just weren’t that sharp in the game. To be fair, the Pens did start better tonight than they did on Friday, and didn’t find themselves down early. But for the second night in a row, they just weren’t executing. In addition to what Guerin said about their passing, I felt the Pens made a lot of unforced errors as well. They had time and space to make easy plays, and just weren’t executing them. For example, there was a sequence where Christian Ehrhoff and Olli Maatta were regrouping in their own end during an Isles line change. They weren’t being pressured, but still bobbled their passes to each other, couldn’t get the puck out of the zone and the Isles got one of their best chances of the game as a result.

2. Last night after the Penguins battled back from a 3-1 deficit to fall in a shootout, 5-4, Sidney Crosby told me they didn't deserve to win that game. Overall, I felt the same way about this one. Even though the Pens had a 1-0 lead for the first 38:01 (especially since Jaroslav Halak should have stopped Evgeni Malkin’s shot – it slowly trickled through his pads and over the goal line), it felt like only a matter of time before the Isles tied it up with the chances they were creating and the energy they were playing with, and sure enough, they did just that.

3. Hornqvist and Malkin connected for their second goal in as many games, but Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Blake Comeau were held off the board. As coach Mike Johnston said after the game, “'Sid, 'Kuni' and 'Comes' are under checking pressure, but they’ve got to break through a little bit as well.”

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