It’s said that actions speak louder than words. But on Tuesday, those components came together to play an equal role in Pittsburgh’s comeback win over Colorado.
The Penguins scored five unanswered goals, including four in the third period, to earn a resounding 6-3 victory over the Avalanche at CONSOL Energy Center.
“I think we had some guys making statements, and you could feel that (momentum) building with both the words and the way guys were playing,” head coach Dan Bylsma said.
“We were fortunate. We didn’t play well for about 25-30 minutes, but our guys were able to rally and come back. Some of that was leadership, both in actions and with words.”
Pittsburgh got off to a shaky start, spotting Colorado a 3-1 lead after the first 20 minutes – with the team’s main problem being a lack of execution.
But despite their struggles, the Penguins stuck with it and came out hard in the second – with Pascal Dupuis
scoring in that period to pull the Penguins within one.
At that point, the Penguins knew they had a chance to complete the comeback with the way their game was coming together – and wouldn’t settle for anything less.
“You could see in the faces of all the guys between the second and the third, they were ready to go,” defensemen Kris Letang
said. “We had something to prove because we were not playing very well.”
The Penguins have a composed veteran group that tends to lead by example, preferring to let their play do the talking versus being cheerleaders in the room.
But when things aren’t going the Penguins’ way, there are certainly guys that will step up and say something to try and spark the team – and on Tuesday, one of those players was veteran Arron Asham
“It was a bad start, but we just talked after the first and after the second period we talked in the locker room,” forward Evgeni Malkin
said, who had a goal and an assist in the final frame.
“Great job by ‘Ash,’ he stood up and talked with the guys. We stayed focused all game and came into the third period and scored quick goals. After, we continued to play the same and just kept shooting. We got a couple more goals and we won.”
Bylsma also recognized Asham’s efforts, as well as the rest of the team for their never-say-die attitude against a tough young Avalanche squad.
played one of his better games and I know was leading the charge,” Bylsma said. “We came back pretty hard, both with the room and the guys on the ice, making a statement.”