Assistant general manager Bill Guerin gives his three takeaways from the management booth of the Penguins’ 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals.
1. The penalty kill was great.
2. Our ability to play hard and draw penalties and go on the power play.
3. The way we went after them. I think we set the tone early with strong play in their end. Setting the tone was huge.
Sam Kasan gives his three takeaways from the press box.
1. Strong Start
The Pens had been badly outplayed in two of their three contests against Washington and wanted to have a response game in the nation’s capital to avoid the season sweep. Pittsburgh came out swinging. Evgeni Malkin’s line started the game and produced extended zone time. Chris Kunitz had a breakaway seconds after opening puck drop. That zone time was followed up on the next few shifts by other lines and culminated with Patric Hornqvist scoring the game’s first goal. The Pens sent a message early that they were here for a fight.
2. Extra Curricular
Speaking of fights, things got a little nasty in the first period. Tom Wilson threw a check into Blake Comeau on the boards. Then Steve Downie entered the fray and somehow Wilson and Michael Latta ended up ON the Pens bench. Even assistant coach Rick Tocchet tried to help by pulling Pens out of the melee. The tempers continued throughout the game, though nothing boiled over as much as that opening-period assembly.
3. Holding On
The Caps weren’t going to just lie down and let the Pens walk into their building and walk out with two points. Washington made two final pushes in the third period. After Washington cut the deficit to 3-2, the Pens responded with a huge goal to extend the lead with Kunitz’s tally. After the Caps made it 4-3 with three minutes left, the Pens defense and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury came through in the clutch and outlasted one final monstrous attack by Washington to hold on for the victory.