Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens’ 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pa.
1. The (New) Hanson Brothers
Winger Patric Hornqvist decided that he and his linemates – Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Plotnikov – should wear Hanson brother-style glasses for warmups, you know, to capture the spirit of the thing. But after their performance against the Lightning, don’t be surprised if they don the thick, black-rimmed glasses and tape before every game. The trio combined for two goals and six points. They opened the scoring when Plotnikov tallied just 14 seconds into the contest.
Of all the Pens that really stood out in the game, the one that I feel played his best was goalie Matt Murray. He was strong in his positioning, quick on his reflexes and moved side-to-side with purpose. He had a couple fantastic saves, including a glove stop on a wide-open Steven Stamkos. Murray will likely end up as the team’s starting netminder in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, but the future is bright with him, and he’s at least given management something to think about.
3. Final Impressions
For many of the players on the Pens’ roster the game was a final chance to leave an impression on the coaching staff and management regarding a job in the NHL. The Pens carried a hefty amount of players because of their three-games in three-nights circumstances. So a lot of players got an extra look to try and earn a job. If any of them did enough to warrant a stay or a job, we’ll find out in the next few hours or days. For guys like Kevin Porter, Kael Mouillierat, Matia Marcantuoni, Conor Sheary and Josh Archibald, this may have been their last chance to show what they can do.