Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box of the Pens’ 7-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings. 1. Middle Strong
The Pens completely dominated the second period of action. Pittsburgh turned a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 advantage during a 14:50-minute, 4-goal outburst. Chris Kunitz started the engine with a bank shot from below the goal line off of the backside of goalie Petr Mrazek just 20 seconds into the second period. The team followed up with goals from Kris Letang, Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel secured the victory before the final period even began. After the fourth Pens’ goal, Mrazek succumbed to Jimmy Howard. 2. Bones
Nick Bonino had a career night against the Red Wings, literally. He posted a goal and 4 assists for a 5-point night. His 4 assists and 5 points each are new single-game career highs for Bonino. He sealed his explosive night with his 6th goal of the season on a nice play. He had the puck at the side of the net, started cutting to the front, which pulled Howard off of his post. Bonino went backhand against the grain at the vacated post and past Howard. 3. Philanthropy
Phil Kessel had his best game as a Penguin against the Red Wings. He picked up a goal and four assists for a five-point night. Kessel’s four assists and five points both were single-game career highs. Kessel’s goal in the second period gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead and was a backbreaker in the contest. But his best play came in the third period when he forced the play ahead on a 2-on-1 and then laid a perfect soft, lead pass to Carl Hagelin, who finished for his second goal of the afternoon. Kessel has elevated his game of late with an aggressive approach to backchecking and forechecking. It was nice to see him get rewarded on the scoresheet for his efforts.