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Snap Shots: Penguins 3, Panthers 2

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins' 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

* The Penguins were fortunate to come out of South Florida with two points in this game. The team wasn't sharp and didn't execute its best, with some tough turnovers leading to odd-man rushes. But thanks to solid goaltending and some opportunistic scoring, Pittsburgh was able to escape with a W. 

* For the second consecutive game, the Penguins were badly outplayed in the first period. And for the second consecutive game, their goaltender played spectacularly under the pressure. This time around it was Tristan Jarry.

Just 95 seconds into the game, the Panthers made a cross-crease pass to Dominic Toninato on the opposite side. Jarry slid across and was perfectly squared to absorb the shot. Minutes later Noel Acciari was wide open streaking down the center lane when he took a pass and threw it on net. Again, Jarry was able to stop and corral the puck.

Jarry added some incredible saves in the third period on Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman (with 33.5 seconds left) to help Pittsburgh survive in the third period and hold the lead. There's no doubt that the Penguins would not have gotten this win without Jarry. He stole this game. 

* The Penguins' power play has been lackluster over the previous two games, going 0 for 11. But the unit came up with a big score in the second period. Jared McCann, playing against his former team, threw a puck toward the stick of captain Sidney Crosby at the crease. Crosby re-directed the puck into the goal for the tally.

Video: PIT@FLA: Crosby redirects McCann's pass home for PPG

Sometimes when a power-play unit is struggling it only takes one goal to spark the flame. Hopefully, that will be the case.

* We've seen defenseman Kris Letang use a deke to backhand many times in a shootout. But he was able to use that move, with success, on a breakaway to open the game's scoring. After serving two minutes for a penalty, Letang exited the penalty box to catch a puck for a breakaway. It isn't often Letang gets a breakaway. Despite the live-action, he used old faithful. And old faithful remained faithful.

Video: PIT@FLA: Letang beats Bobrovsky on breakaway

* Teddy Blueger didn't save the day, but he did help with his eighth goal of the season. He set himself up at the side of the net when Jack Johnson threw a loose puck in his direction. The puck managed to skirt through MacKenzie Weegar and Blueger didn't waste any time in depositing it into the goal. 

Video: PIT@FLA: Blueger swats puck home from the doorstep

* Aside from the assist, Johnson made a great defensive play against Mike Hoffman. The Panthers' forward had a breakaway with Johnson trailing. And to make matters worse, Johnson didn't have a stick. Johnson was able to catch Hoffman and throw a check that dislodged him from the puck. The black rubber glided harmlessly to Jarry for the stop.

* The Penguins made a few line adjustments during the game. They swapped Jared McCann and Patric Hornqvist. The new trios were McCann-Malkin-Rust and Simon-Crosby-Hornqvist. The move allowed Rust to move back to his natural position on right wing.

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