Assistant coach Rick Tocchet gives his three impressions from the bench of the Penguins’ 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
1. Thomas Greiss did a nice job. He hasn’t played a lot. He came into a tough building and won. You have to give him credit.
2. Production from a lot of different guys, Hornqvist’s line, Malkin getting a goal. I thought the production of getting guys like that goals and assists was good.
3. I thought the start was really good. We stuck with our game plan. We had the Ducks on their heels. The last 10 (minutes) wasn’t good for us, but luckily we had a really, really good start and locked them down.
Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box.
The Pens forwards weren’t strong on their forecheck through the first two periods against Colorado on Wednesday night. The result was a 3-1 loss. The Pens stepped up their play against arguably the best team in the NHL in the Anaheim Ducks. The Perron-Crosby-Hornqvist trio set the tone from the first shift by playing physical, possessing the puck and cycling. Pittsburgh fed off that and was a force in the offensive zone all night.
The Pens coaching staff has really emphasized getting more of a net-front presence from the team. Part of their forecheck effectiveness was due to their attacking the net. Patric Hornqvist was especially good in this area. He began the game by crashing the net and caused problems for the Ducks defense all night. Hornqvist scored both of his goals from within three feet of the net - first on a nice tip and the second at the side of the cage.
3. Finishing Touches
It looked like the Pens would coast to an easy victory after Evgeni Malkin scored early in the third period to make it a 4-0 game. However, the Ducks came full charge in the third frame all the way until the final buzzer. A team as good as Anaheim wasn’t going to go quietly. The Pens did surrender two goals, but they made enough plays to handle the sustained pressure and survive for the victory. You can’t expect the Pens to dominate a team as good as Anaheim, but they handled them well enough to escape with two points in the standings.