Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet gives his three impressions from the bench of the Penguins’ 3-1 win against the Calgary Flames at CONSOL Energy Center.
1. Fleury played a very sound game, was big for us in great situations and he just played a typical, Fleury-sound game.
2. It was a tough game out there. Calgary is a hardworking team. It was one of those games where you’ve got to win ugly and I’ve got to give the team credit for sticking by it. Sometimes the tape-to-tape passes weren’t there. We didn’t have the right plays at certain times, but I thought overall we stuck with it and it was a good team overall effort.
3. The penalty killing was great. I mean they killed off five. I thought they did a great job. They bailed us out and they did an awesome job.
Sam Kasan gives his three takeaways from the press box.
1. Special teams
The contest against the Calgary Flames became a battle of special teams. Both teams took an ample amount of penalties – 14 combined – providing lots of power-play opportunities. Although the majority of the game seemed to be played on special teams, it was not the deciding factor as neither side was able to convert a power-play. Or maybe it was the deciding factor as both penalty kill units held down the fort and went 5-for-5.
2. Two up, two down
The Pens had some positive news on the injury front as both forward Patric Hornqvist and defenseman Kris Letang returned to the lineup. However, it was evened out when captain Sidney Crosby (illness) and Zach Sill (one shift, upper-body) were lost. Both Hornqvist and Letang appeared rejuvenated. Letang brought his trademark speed, which helped create a goal for himself. He started the play by racing into the corner to keep the puck in the offensive zone. He finished it by tipping in Simon Despres’ shot from in front. Hornqvist was all over the ice and was credited with four shots.
3. Strong start
The game against the Pens was Calgary’s third contest in four nights. It was important for the Pens to jump on them early, and that they did. Blake Comeau struck for his ninth goal of the season just 48 seconds after the opening puck drop. The Penguins built on that lead with Letang’s goal less than four minutes later. Pittsburgh then gutted out the next 50 minutes holding the lead before Rob Klinkhammer’s late tally sealed it. It was a strong effort from the Pens against a team known for its work ethic.