Michelle Crechiolo shares her three impressions from the media level on Pittsburgh's 3-2 loss to Dallas. 1. Drawing Penalties
Pittsburgh’s power play is getting a lot of attention, and deservedly so – as the Pens went 2-for-4 in the first period and are 6-for-13 in the first three games. But it’s also worth noting that the Pens have been doing the work to draw penalties while staying disciplined on their end as well. Zach Sill figured prominently into two of those calls. On one, he drilled Stars forward Antoine Roussel, who wasn’t thrilled about being swept off his feet and first tried chasing Sill around the ice. When Sill didn’t engage, Rousell then took his anger out on defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who also didn’t retaliate and got the call. Sill then later stole a puck from Jason Spezza on the boards, who had to resort to tripping the Pens forward as he curled toward the net.
2. Strong First, Up and Down Second, Flat Third
While the first period was strong and the second period was up and down for the Pens, they flatlined in the third. They got sloppy and disorganized while Dallas was down a goal and pushing hard to get back into the game, which turned out to be a lethal combo. As center Brandon Sutter put it, “we just stopped doing the right things.” They turned the puck over and made mistakes and bad decisions, which led to them taking a couple of penalties – and the Stars scored the winner with Sidney Crosby in the box. In the first two games, the Pens were attacking offensively for all 60 minutes. Tonight, they backed off and played to protect the lead for the second half of the game – which didn’t work.
3. Dupuis Hurt
Winger Pascal Dupuis was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the second period. While stationed in front of the net, Dupuis was crosschecked from behind by former Pens defenseman Alex Goligoski and immediately fell to the ice. While Dupuis was down, he was then hit with a slapshot that struck him either on the back of the neck or shoulder – it was hard to tell. Dupuis threw his gloves off right away to signal that he needed help. After a few minutes, the doctors and trainers – with help from Evgeni Malkin – got him on the stretcher and off the ice. While Dupuis was able to lift his arm in acknowledgement to the fans giving him a standing ovation, the energy understandably drained out of the building afterward.
“He got hit by the shot, was knocked down in front of the net,” head coach Mike Johnston said. “I didn’t see the replay on it yet. I don’t have any more information on it yet from the trainers other than he said that he had some numbness in his arm and it was coming back, so that was a real positive sign. But I haven’t heard anything more. I’m sure they’re doing a lot of tests on him right now.”