Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens’ 4-3 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens.
1. Dupuis Returns
Pens forward Pascal Dupuis returned to the lineup after having a symptom scare that kept him out of the past two contests for precautionary reasons. Luckily, the test results came back negative for a blood clot, and Dupuis was cleared by doctors to return. He made his presence felt immediately, cutting to the net and burying a shot to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead just 13 seconds after the puck dropped.
2. Missed Opportunities
The Pens’ power play had two incredible chances late in the game to net a victory, but couldn’t come up with a goal. The first was in the final two minutes of regulation. Then they had a two-minute power play in the overtime session. Goaltender Mike Condon made two fantastic pad saves back-to-back in OT to keep the game going, and got a little help from his post. Even though the Pens pulled off the victory in the shootout, they missed an opportunity to end the contest sooner.
3. Measuring Stick
The Canadiens have the best record in the NHL entering the game at 13-2-1, the best start in the past 98 years of the franchise’s history. Montreal is the stick by which all teams will measure themselves. The Canadiens are one of the toughest teams to score against and Pittsburgh put up three goals, including a late third-period goal to even the game and force overtime. It wasn’t a perfect game from the Pens, especially the second period where outplayed and outshot 13-1, but they proved that they can go toe-to-toe with the league’s elite. And that should help build up their confidence.