Michelle Crechiolo gives her three impressions from the press box of the Penguins' 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
1. All three of San Jose’s goals were scored by defensemen, two of those coming from Brent Burns – who is an incredibly gifted player. He’s not someone we see a lot of being in the West, and tonight was a reminder of just how dynamic he is. He’s an absolute animal who was all over the ice. While his first goal was all him, the other two had eyes. The Sharks did a tremendous job of getting the puck back to their points and heading straight to the net, where they were rewarded with a few fortuitous bounces. The Pens needed to do a better job of clearing out both traffic and loose pucks around the net and helping out their goaltender in that regard.
2. The Pens spent a lot of the game on power play as they received six in the game. In the second period, they had four straight minutes on the man-advantage. I thought they took advantage of that opportunity, as Phil Kessel scored a huge tying goal and they spent the majority of that sequence set up in the offensive zone. While the Sharks are aggressive on the penalty kill, and the Pens sometimes struggle with teams who pressure like that, they didn’t let it get to them during that particular time. However, they didn’t convert any of their other chances and those were certainly missed opportunities.
3. Despite the score, overall I felt that it wasn’t a completely terrible game for the Pens. When you break it down, two of San Jose’s goals came off tough bounces and Pittsburgh had its share of chances as well – firing 39 shots at goalie Martin Jones. That being said, I just didn’t think the Pens had enough of a push after the Sharks went up 2-1. While San Jose was playing strong defense and blocking a lot of shots, the Pens needed to do more to create more for themselves and they just weren’t able to.