Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet gives his three impressions from the bench of the Penguins’ 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators.
1.A big goal by Christian Ehrhoff. We always want to get our D involved. Your looking at a pressure situation and Ehrhoff came through in a pressure situation, a big goal.
2.Fleury at the end. Two great saves. Those are prime chances and he made an unbelievable saves.
3.Klinkhammer, drew two penalties, had five hits. It’s tough flying all the way over for your first game, an afternoon game so he didn’t have much rest. He contributed by drawing a couple penalties.
Michelle Crechiolo gives her three takeaways.
1. Power Play
The Pens are without three of their first-unit power-play personnel, and they certainly miss them. Both of their net-front guys – Patric Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz – are out of the lineup, so they don’t have anyone with their ability to create screens, cause chaos and get shots from in close. They are also missing Kris Letang’s vision and ability to read and react off Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the point. But while the Pens didn’t take advantage of back-to-back power plays in the second period with the game tied 1-1 – and let the Sens take the lead shortly after – fill-ins Brandon Sutter and Olli Maatta set up a Malkin goal late in the frame to even the score back up. The Pens are now 13-1 on the season when they score on the man-advantage.
2. Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em
After being traded to the Pens on Friday afternoon, Rob Klinkhammer traveled from Arizona to Pittsburgh that night and was inserted into today’s lineup without having any practices, morning skates or even a meeting with his new team. He was certainly thrown right into the fire, but played very well in his Penguins’ debut. On his first shift, the 6-foot-3, 214-pound forward delivered a big hit on Ottawa's Alex Chiasson off a D-zone faceoff, recovered the puck, dumped it in and got in on the forecheck. But the most impressive thing to me about his game was the way he used his body positioning to draw a couple of penalties – including the one the Pens scored on late in the second.
"I wouldn’t say I’m the greatest skater in the world, but I can get around, I think," Klinkhammer joked after the game. "I got a big body. I got to use it."
Overall, this was a much better effort than the one the Pens produced in their 3-0 loss to Vancouver on Thursday. The Pens needed a response game, and they came up with one. It wasn’t always the prettiest, but save for one stretch in the third where the Pens couldn’t get through the neutral zone, for the most part they were getting to loose pucks, winning battles and skating hard. I especially liked Evgeni Malkin’s game, as he set the tone in the first five minutes of the game with an incredible breakaway goal and tipped in the tying goal to give him a team-leading 14 goals in 26 games.