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3 Impressions: Pens 6, Coyotes 0

by CJ Harvey / Pittsburgh Penguins

CJ Harvey gives his three impressions from the press box of the Penguins' 6-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

1. 1st Period Statement
The Penguins set the bar early with two goals and a huge penalty kill, keeping momentum in their favor all night. Patric Hornqvist opened the scoring with both first period goals (on his way to a hat trick), and his line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz dominated Arizona. But the defining moment of the period, and the game, was the Pens' killing of 2:38 minutes of penalty time with Derrick Pouliot and Tom Kuhnhackl in the box. The first 38 seconds of the PK, Pittsburgh anchored down with Ian Cole, Kris Letang and Nick Bonino manning the 5-on-3, and didn't allow Arizona many looks at the net. Marc-Andre Fleury did come up with a huge save off an Oliver Ekman-Larsson shot during the kill, which kept the 'Yotes off the board early. It was a great confidence boost that lasted the entire game and propelled them to their big win.

2. Taking Care of the House
Speaking of Marc-Andre Fleury, what a performance he had tonight. The steady netminder locked up his fifth shutout of the year with 30 saves. His stop in the first period was probably the biggest. All of the blueliners played well, killing Arizona's three power plays, and limiting opportunities for the Coyotes on even strength. It was the cumulative team effort that sealed this win for the Pens.

3. Under the Radar
What a game for Patric Hornqvist. He earned his first career hat trick and looked like he flushed the puck into the net on every shift. But linemate Sidney Crosby, who rarely flies under the radar, was the source of offense for the Penguins tonight. The playmaker had a quiet three assists, and was a major contributor in the Pens' win. Not to take anything away from 'Hatrick' Hornqvist, but Crosby generated a ton of chances on the puck, and didn't need to find the back of the net to leave his print on the game.

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