Assistant coach Rick Tocchet gives three impressions from the Pens' 2-0 win over Edmonton.
1. The return of (Evgeni Malkin). I thought ‘Geno’ played a strong game, especially early in the game. He had the puck a lot, scored a big goal for us.
2. I thought the fourth line dictated play. They did the things we needed them to do to set the pace. Chipped the pucks in, got behind their D, set the tone.
3. Marc-Andre Fleury with a nice shutout. Solid. A few chances early in the game, I thought he made some big saves. Then in the third period Edmonton was coming on and he was there for us. ‘Flower’ played really well.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box.
1. Short Shifts
The Pens kept their average shift length around 45 seconds for both forwards and defensemen. They didn’t overextend or over-exhaust themselves when they were on the ice. When a good opportunity for a change presented itself, they took it. The short shifts helped them stay fresh and rested throughout the whole game.
2. Rolling Four
Not only were the Pens keeping their shifts short, they were rolling four lines. Pittsburgh was attacking the Oilers in waves. The fourth line even logged quite a bit of ice time and proved quite effective in possession and forechecking Edmonton. Combined with the short shifts, rolling through four lines enabled the Penguins to wear down the Oilers and dominate zone time during the game.
3. Oiler Boys
David Perron and Mark Arcobello played against their former team for the first time and both figured in on the scoresheet. Arcobello had a lot of chances and even head coach Mike Johnston pointed out that he had a strong game. Arcobello alertly set up the Pens’ first goal on a scramble play by coolly sliding the puck to Malkin for the tally. Perron tipped a Kris Letang shot in off his skate. Though he said he wasn’t trying to make the play, he was in the right place at the right time - and in the nick of time, as the goal counted with just .4 seconds left in the second period.
“I though ‘Arco’ had a good night,” Johnston said. “He had a lot of scoring chances through the first two periods. He played a good game. That line (Arcobello-Malkin-Patric Hornqvist) as a group generated more than any of our lines.”