Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet gives his three impressions from bench of the Penguins’ 3-2 shootout win against the New York Rangers at CONSOL Energy Center.
1. I thought ‘Geno’ led the charge. He had the puck a lot on his stick tonight. But his physicality, that was a great hit and really energized the team, like he did in Toronto the other night.
2. Fleury. When you go head-to-head with Lundqvist, two of the best goalies in the league and it ends in a shootout and Fleury wins. The ‘Flower’ came back strong.
3. Penalty kill again. Killing off a 4-on-3 in the last minute (of overtime). We did it in Toronto. Those are tough minutes for Paul Martin and guys like that. I thought Paul Martin was great on those penalty kills.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from press box.
There is certainly bad blood between these two teams. It was a physical battle, but the Penguins really asserted their power. Pittsburgh finished the game with 44 hits. Christian Ehrhoff and Robert Bortuzzo teamed up for a glass sandwich on Carl Hagelin. In the third period Evgeni Malkin leveled Dan Girardi behind the net. The Penguins showed why they can be a tough team to battle.
2. Comeau Esta? Muy Bien
Blake Comeau missed the Penguins’ 2-1 victory in Toronto due to an illness. But he was back in the lineup against the Rangers and made his presence felt. Comeau scored the game’s first goal after burying a one-timer off a pass from Patric Hornqvist. Minutes prior he was on the doorstep jamming away at a puck. Comeau also drew two penalties on the Rangers. It was a strong performance from No. 17.
It typically takes 10-15 games for a team to find an identity. After seeing them play under Mike Johnston in the early part of the season, a part of their identity is tenacious play and attacking the net. The Penguins spent so much time in Henrik Lundqvist’s crease that they could probably be considered squatters. They were causing havoc and disruption. It’s been something they’ve done all season and has become a staple of Penguins hockey.
4. Happy Ending
When Dan Boyle scored in the shootout, it appeared that the New York Rangers had won the contest. Both teams were heading to their respective locker rooms. But wait a second, after a review the referees ruled that Boyle shot the puck twice – therefore the score was waved off. Both teams came back to the ice and fans rushed back to their seats. Brandon Sutter scored and Fleury stopped Rick Nash to flip the outcome and give the Penguins the win.