Penguins assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald gives his three impressions from the management booth from the Penguins’ 3-2 overtime win over the Bruins.
1. First, Flower. 300th win. It’s the NHL, nothing comes easy. Great to see that, well-deserved. It’s an unbelievable accomplishment.
2. I really thought that when they tied the game up 2-2, and we kill off that 3-on-4 – which is harder – that allowed us to stay in the game instead of being down one goal and fighting back. So it allowed us to stay even.
3. What star players do is they win games for you. Geno and Sid hooking up for the GW, Sid with one (goal) and two (assists) and Geno with two goals.
Michelle Crechiolo gives her three impressions from the press box.
1. Man oh man, did Marc-Andre Fleury have to work for this one. While the Bruins didn’t necessarily dominate the game, they did have a few incredible offensive zone shifts where they had sustained pressure, created chance after chance and forced the Penguins goaltender to produce spectacular save after spectacular save. One sequence that stood out in particular came late in the third period with the teams tied 2-2. The Bruins could have had three goals during that crazy sequence, but Fleury was able to withstand the pressure and keep it a tie game. Congratulations to him for becoming the third-fastest and third-youngest goaltender in NHL history to reach 300 wins. What an accomplishment, and it couldn’t happen to a better human.
2. Pens head coach Mike Johnston switched up his top two lines for this game, and I especially liked the trio of Nick Spaling, Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist. They had the best even-strength chances in the game and I thought they did a fantastic job of wreaking havoc at the other team’s net. During long offensive-zone shifts, they created a few mad scrambles outside the blue paint. Crosby scored during one of those melees when he picked up a rebound sitting at the top of the crease and tucked a backhand spin-o-rama into the open net.
3. Going off that, the Pens’ star players got it done for them tonight. While there were certain players who had excellent games, like Christian Ehrhoff – who logged a game-high 23:06 of ice time – at the end of the day, it was the Pens’ core players who stepped up, got the job done and prevented their team from stringing together three straight regulation losses. Letang assisted on the Pens’ first two goals and helped set up the overtime winner with his center drive that opened up space for Crosby and Malkin. Fleury was brilliant. And of course, the two-headed monster sealed the deal.