After dropping their first game of the 2016 rookie tournament 8-3 to Montreal on Friday, the Pens tightened up defensively in their second game on Saturday against Ottawa. But they couldn't get going offensively despite firing 43 shots, falling 1-0. Tristan Jarry made 26 saves for the Pens. Here are Michelle Crechiolo's 3 impressions from the press box…
1. FIRST LOOK AT PROW
On Friday we got a look at Lukas Bengtsson. And today, we got to see fellow free-agent signee Ethan Prow, who was scratched for the first game of the tournament. I liked what I saw from the former St. Cloud State defenseman, who was a Hobey Baker finalist this past spring.
I actually didn't notice him too much, which is a good thing for a defenseman. It means he was never out of position and made smart plays. The coaches trusted him to go over the boards
in all situations, as he was always part of the first group on the ice for the power play and penalty kill - including a lengthy 5-on-3 in the first period. Overall, it was a decent first game for Prow.
PROW: "It's nice to finally be in a game situation. Obviously we would have liked to win, but we'll take baby steps and hopefully come back tomorrow with a little more giddy-up and get it done."
2. JARRY GETS A FULL 60
After playing half the game in Friday's 8-3 loss to Montreal and allowing three goals, Tristan Jarry got the net for all 60 minutes today and I was impressed with his play. He was so
calm and steady back there and was just locked in for the entire game. He was tested the most during that lengthy 5-on-3, and passed admirably. He tracked the puck well, even surprising a Sens player with a nifty pokecheck as he skated around the net. He moved quickly and his positioning was sound. He was handling the puck nicely throughout the afternoon as well. It was good to see Jarry come out with a performance like this after a crazy second half of his 2015-16 season, where he started to wear down after being forced to shoulder an intense workload. He certainly looked refreshed and ready to go.
JARRY: "It's nice to finally play a full game after 2-3 months. Even after the short offseason, it feels like forever. I felt pretty good. This year, I really wanted to work on my game with (goalie development coach Mike Buckley) and the rest of the coaching staff. I think they really want me to push myself and they were really pushing me, I think that really helped me get to this point."
3. ODDS AND ENDS
A few random observations: first, I thought former Notre Dame standout and free-agent signee Thomas Di Pauli looked even faster than he did on Friday. He was noticeable with his speed and lugged the puck the length of the ice on numerous occasions. Josh Archibald , again wearing the C for Pittsburgh, had the best scoring chances of all the prospects, including a breakaway in the third period that would have evened the score. Unfortunately, his snapshot went high and wide. Right after that, the Pens got a power play - one of many on the evening that they couldn't convert.
PROW: "We've got to find a little chemistry with the guys and stuff and just kind of put some more pucks on net. If it's not working, just throw them in there and just kind of look for those greasy goals around the front. I know that's something we've probably got to work on. When it comes down to it, you've got to be able to score on the power play."