It's the little plays that make the biggest difference between winning and losing a game.
Need an example?
Just take a look at Phil Kessel's game-winning power-play goal in the second period of the Pens' 3-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena.
The Pens surrendered the puck to Ducks defenseman Josh Manson in the corner of the Anaheim zone. It appeared Manson would have all day to clear the puck. That was until Patric Hornqvist - who was perfectly described by head coach Mike Sullivan as a bull in a China closet - barreled in to stick check Manson's clear attempt.
The move by Hornqvist forced a turnover and allowed Kessel to pick up the puck. Kessel then skated toward the net. Defenseman Cam Fowler, trying to guard against a pass to center Nick Bonino backpedaled to give Kessel an open lane.
Kessel made no mistake on the play, cradling the puck to the crease before snapping a nasty shot through the legs of goaltender Jonathan Bernier for the man-advantage score.
Although Kessel finished the play, it all began with Hornqvist's effort. The Swede turned what should have been an easy clear into a tally. And that's the different a Hornqvist can have on the game.
It was a simple play, but the extra effort and hustle paid off.
Video: ANA@PIT: Kessel snaps one five-hole for PPG