Assistant Coach Gary Agnew gives his 3 impressions from the bench. 1. Comeback
First of all, the comeback. We’re down two late on the road, the guys stuck with it, we pressured. They sat back a little bit, but I thought our resilience was really good to get back into it and at least get a tie and into the overtime period. 2. Second Line
I thought the line of Malkin, Sutter and Comeau was really good. They were dangerous all night. They had some good energy. I thought Sutter in particular made some good things happen, took pucks to the net. 3. Penalty Kill
Then the double minor that we killed, the four-minute penalty kill was really good. You can get knocked out of a game early, especially on the road, when the fans get behind them like that. But I thought we quieted them down and got it going.
Michelle Crechiolo gives her 3 impressions from the press box.
1. No Quit
What an impressive finish and incredible show of resiliency by these depleted Pens, who were without Patric Hornqvist, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Olli Maatta Pascal Dupuis and Beau Bennett in this game. Though the Pens were dominating in the third, it seemed like the game was all but over when the Rangers took a 3-1 lead with 7:02 left in regulation. It’s never easy to come back from a two-goal deficit, especially on the road, that late in a game. But the Pens managed to score twice in a 24-second span to even the score, force overtime and come away with a huge extra point in a divisional matchup.
2. Top Line
I liked the way the Spaling-Crosby-Downie line played in this game. Spaling and Downie both finished with two points (1G-1A), and both of their goals came because they weren’t hesitant to just rip the puck on net. Meanwhile, Crosby was flying all over the ice. Downie especially did a great job of getting Crosby the puck with short little dishes as he was coming up the ice at full speed. That allowed Crosby to gain the zone and jumpstart a few good offensive zone shifts. They were matched up with New York’s top shutdown pair of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi for most of the game, but still managed to pot two huge goals.
3. Flower Power
Marc-Andre Fleury was terrific tonight. He certainly did his part to keep the Penguins in this game. He just looked like he was seeing the puck so well, as he was in perfect position to calmly glove or turn aside most of the shots he saw. And he was still stopping the ones he didn’t, as Fleury had to come up with a few pad saves through traffic – especially early in the game – on shots he was screened on. Fleury deserved a better result than the one he got, as there wasn’t a lot he could do on any of the Rangers’ goals – especially the first three, which came as the result of bad breakdowns in coverage. The Pens can’t leave their goalie hanging out to dry like that.