Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens’ 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators. 1. Phillin It
Pens winger Phil Kessel continued his scoring surge with a 2-goal performance against the Predators. He now has 4 goals and 9 points in his last 4 games. The most impressive play of the game came on Kessel’s second score. It was vintage Phil. He took a pass while streaking down the far side and snapped off a bullet into the top corner. That’s what the Pens traded for last summer. And now Kessel is delivering. 2. Power Surge
The Pens power play has struggle with the loss of center Evgeni Malkin. But tonight they connected twice with the man-advantage, and it was the difference in the contest. The Preds backed off in the neutral zone and the Pens were much better on their entries than they have been of late. Once in the zone, Pittsburgh displayed some solid puck movement. Both goals were simply the result of moving the puck for a one-timer after extended passing sequences. Kris Letang buried his shot, while Patric Hornqvist re-directed a shot into the net. Simple. Effective. 3. All Daley
There are many reasons for the Pens turnaround this season. But the biggest on ice factor has been their improved team speed. And one key cog in that machine is defenseman Trevor Daley. His speed, mobility, vision, smarts and passing has not only helped in the defensive zone with breakouts, but in the offensive zone with production. He picked up 2 assists tonight, and was a factor on both. He made an incredible cross-ice pass to a speeding Kessel that led to a goal. And he teed up a beautiful one-timer on net that Hornqvist tipped in. Daley has been playing ridiculously well since the Pens acquired him in December. His contributions are not going unnoticed.