Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Penguins’ 5-3 win against the Ottawa Senators.
The Senators had a 1-0 lead after the first period. But it was a 2-goal 72-second span that put them up by a 3-0 count. First, Matt Hoffman sniped a shot from the lower circle on a tough angle that found its way into the net. Then Zack Smith came barreling down the near side and lifted a perfect shot over the shoulder of Matt Murray and into the top corner. The Pens were not in an ideal place and that sequence could have decided the game. But…
2. Leading from Behind
For whatever reason, the Pens seem to play their best hockey when they are behind on the scoreboard. Ottawa jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but there was a feeling that it would only be a matter of time before the Pens clawed back into it. Pittsburgh picked up a pair of goals in the second period from Patric Hornqvist and Sidney Crosby. Carl Hagelin added a pair of his own in the third to turn a 3-0 deficit into a deadlock 4-3 lead. Crosby added an empty-netter for insurance.
After the Pens tied the game at 3-3, they nearly gave the game away. They took back-to-back penalties and were forced to kill 1:32 worth of a 5-on-3. To make matters worse, two of their better penalty killers (Oskar Sundqvist and Eric Fehr) were in the penalty box. Great efforts from Nick Bonino, Tom Kuhnhackl, Matt Cullen, Matt Murray and the goal posts helped prevent the Sens from scoring. But the biggest kudos should go to defenseman Ian Cole, who was on the ice for the entire duration of both penalties. He battled hard at the net, blocked shots and was a warrior. The coaching staff showed a lot of confidence in letting him handle the task, and he passed with an A.