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3 Impressions: Pens 5, Red Wings 2

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Sam Kasan gives his three impressions of the Penguins’ 5-2 against the Detroit Red Wings on New Year’s Eve.

1. Resiliency
The Pens had a rough start against the Red Wings. They looked sluggish and unmotivated. They didn’t have their legs and trailed 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes. The game looked like it could end up being a blow out for Detroit. BUT the Pens responded the right way by continuing to play hard. Instead of hanging their heads in defeat, they put their heads down and charged forward. They outplayed Detroit in the final two periods and looked like an energetic team. On top of everything, Pittsburgh played the third period with only five defenseman after Ian Cole left the game. The Pens overcame adversity. And that’s the story of this game.

2. Power-Play
The Pens trailed 2-0 after the first period. And it was their power play that got them back into the game. They connected for two scores in the second period to tie the game. Forward Patric Hornqvist had a hand in both goals. On the first, he re-directed a shot through Petr Mrazek. On the second goal, Hornqvist skated through the shooting lane as Kris Letang deked Mrazek and potted a perfect shot into the top corner.

3. Stars
The Pens’ star players were the difference in the game. Sidney Crosby (1 goal), Evgeni Malkin (1 goal, 3 points) and Kris Letang (2 goals, 3 points) all scored goals in the game. Letang’s power-play goal tied the game at 2-2. Crosby’s goal (which came on a brilliant second effort from one-knee as he was falling to the ice) was the game-winner and came halfway through the third period. Then Malkin added the insurance 34 seconds later. The Pens are in desperate need of points and they need their star players to wear the cape. They all stepped up tonight.

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