Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens’ 4-2 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
1. Russian Mark
Sergei Plotnikov was a force on the ice once again. He was physical, gritty and even a little nasty. He’s not shy about going to the dirty areas and battling for pucks. Plotnikov’s efforts led to a Pens goal when he steamrolled two Blue Jackets in the slot, which freed the puck to Phil Kessel for the score. Plotnikov is still adjusting to the smaller ice surface, not to mention a new country, culture and language. But I love his potential and can’t wait to see him play once he gets comfortable.
2. Turning Point
It was an oddly chippy game for a preseason affair. Lots of hitting and post-whistle scrums. Things boiled over at the end of the second period after Steve Oleksy and Brett Gallant dropped the gloves. During the ensuing stoppage Tom Sestito bumped Brandon Dubinsky, to which the Jacket retaliated with a hard slash. Sestito dropped the gloves immediately and grabbed him. Full scrum ensued. The Jackets ended up with a three-minute major power play after two minutes of 4-on-4. They scored once on the 4-on-4 and twice on the advantage to make a 1-0 lead a 4-0.
Despite the Pens losing the game 4-2, the two teams still played a 3-on-3 overtime session. It lived up to the excitement and billing. There was so much open ice, up-and-down action and chance after chance after chance. Sidney Crosby juked a defender and sniped an overtime score. It was incredible to see skilled players really showcase their talents. It’s going to be fun to watch the Pens stars in 3-on-3 action this season.