Assistant coach Rick Tocchet gives his three impressions from the bench of the Penguins’ 2-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres.
1. First of all I have to commend the five D. That’s a lot of work back-to-back. They did a really nice job. I’m really proud of those guys.
2. Four lines, I thought that was the key tonight. We got up early in the game. A lot of guys contributed. We had some fresh legs by playing four lines.
3. The “Flower” (Marc-Andre Fleury), shutout. Biggest game of the year for us and he shuts the other team out. You have to give him a ton of credit.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box.
It was another gutsy effort from the five guys on the back end. You can certainly tell that the minutes were taxing and starting to wear the five defensemen down, having played in back-to-back nights. They had to dig deep into their tank to carry the burden. Even as they were running on fumes they stepped up in the most important game of the season.
2. Sutter Home
Forward Brandon Sutter had the game of his life and it couldn’t have come at a better time. He scored both goals for the Pens in the contest and hit the 20-goal plateau for the second time in his career. Sutter scored his second goal just minutes after leaving the game after taking a puck to the face. He was all guts, glory, and clutch.
3. Finishing the Job
The Penguins had several opportunities down the stretch to clinch a postseason berth. They failed on those prior occasions, but they finally finished the job against Buffalo with their season on the line in the most important game of the year. It doesn’t matter who the opponent was. Pittsburgh needed a win to get in. They got the win. They’re in.
4. New York, New York
Bring on the Rangers.