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3 Impressions: Red Wings 5, Penguins 1

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

Assistant coach Rick Tocchet gives his three impressions from the bench of the Penguins’ 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

1. The early goal and penalties got us behind the 8-ball. It seemed like we were irritated for some reason and couldn’t get ourselves together.
2. In the third period I thought we worked hard. You like to see that your team doesn’t quit and we didn’t quit. That was good.
3. Individually, I really liked the way Patric Hornqvist played all night. He was a beast out there. He played very hard for us.

Michelle Crechiolo gives her three impressions from the media level.

1. Too Many Passengers
The Pens weren’t sharp at all, especially early on. It felt like they weren’t skating and they weren’t executing. Overall, it felt like they had too many passengers and did too much watching, which is lethal against a fast, skilled, dynamic team like the Red Wings, who were coming off a 7-2 loss to Philadelphia yesterday afternoon and looking to respond. The Pens gave them way too much time and space to work with, and got burned as a result. They struggled to establish themselves anywhere on the ice. They had trouble sustaining a forecheck and in their own end, there were a lot of times where the Pens kept chipping the puck up the wall to no one – where the Wings would recover it, regroup in the neutral zone and come back at them. You had to feel for the Pens goalies, who got hung out to dry a lot in this game.

2. No Discipline
Though the Pens got down early with their sloppy play, they still had plenty of time to get back into it. But they didn’t give themselves a chance after their frustration boiled over and things snowballed from there. There was an especially bad stretch where they were given a couple of 10-minute misconducts, Kris Letang got a game misconduct and a few unsportsmanlike conducts. That just can’t happen. They can't have key players either in the penalty box or the locker room for that long and they can't give a team like the Wings, who have the NHL’s top-ranked power play, that much time on the man-advantage. The Pens lost their composure for a while and as a result, lost the chance to get back into the game.

3. “A Pretty Good Lesson”
While today’s game certainly wasn’t pretty, the Pens can learn from it. They got a wake-up call in the sense that they saw what can happen when they lose their composure the way they did. As captain Sidney Crosby put it, “I think it’s a pretty good lesson. I think there have been games where we maybe did something similar and maybe got away with it. Hopefully we take this as a really good lesson that not only are we going to have the score ran up on us like that, but we’re not going to put ourselves in a very good position.”

NOTES: Crosby returned after being a last-minute scratch for Saturday's game against Boston. "I just wasn’t feeling well," he said. "I talked to the docs and they recommended that I didn’t play. There’s not much you can do at that point if they recommend not to play. I feel good (now). No issues."

The Pens lost Hornqvist over midway through the third period when he left the game and did not return.

"He left with an injury," head coach Mike Johnston said. "We'll find out tomorrow. It looked bad when he came off the ice."

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