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Inside Scoop: Pens-Devils

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens' morning skate prior to hosting the New Jersey Devils…

* It's been a couple of days since the Pens' last game, a 5-0 loss to Toronto on Saturday where they got outplayed and outworked. After the game, head coach Mike Sullivan said his team had been feeling good about themselves following their 4-0 road trip through Canada, but that their performance against the Leafs had humbled them.

The team practiced on Sunday, with a focus on getting back to basics and the process and details associated with winning, and Carl Hagelin said that session helped them move past their emotions from the night before. Now, they're more than ready to get back to business tonight and start establishing some consistency in their game.

"I think right after the game you're obviously pissed off about the way you played and the way the team played," Hagelin said. "I think what needs to happen is you need to have a good practice the next day, which we did. We put a lot of effort into that and worked hard. Hopefully, that translates into the game. Once the game starts the last game is forgotten."

* The Pens are playing New Jersey for the first time this season. Both teams are looking to get back on track, with the Pens dropping three straight and the Devils losing six of their last seven following a 4-0 start to the year.

"They're going to be a desperate team. We need to be more desperate than them," Hagelin said. "They always play well defensively. It's going to be one of those nights where maybe there's not a lot of chances. We've got to be fine with that. We have to just keep skating, keep pushing the pace and play North-South."

When talking about the process and details associated with winning, Sullivan said that for his team, it starts with skating. The Devils are also gaining a reputation for being a fast team, as former WBS head coach John Hynes has Implemented that style of play after taking over behind the bench for New Jersey. The Pens had some trouble with New Jersey's speed last year, as the Devils went 3-0-1 in the season series.

"I think that they look to push the pace a lot more than they used to, kind of their old reputation," defenseman Jack Johnson said. "I don't think there's many teams like that in the league anymore, just with the way the league has gone. They got plenty of skill in their top line is a big-time threat. You've got to be aware when those guys are on the ice. They're a lot like every other team. They have their top line guys that you've got to be aware of. Guys like (Taylor) Hall, with great speed, you've got to be aware of where they are and keep your head on a swivel."

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