Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins' 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
* I thought Brian Dumoulin looked great in his preseason debut. He's always been so solid and reliable defensively, but today he also showed some flashes offensively. He didn't hesitate to jump up into the play and be active, and the defenseman opened up the scoring as a result. Brandon Tanev threaded a perfect pass right onto his blade, and Dumoulin re-directed it into the open net.
Dumoulin told me after the game that this year, he wants to try and be more involved offensively when the opportunities present themselves. "Obviously I have to pick my spots and I know what I am, but if I can jump up in there and be a next wave for them, that only gives us more options," he said. "I definitely want to try and get up there a little bit more."
That being said, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan feels that Dumoulin has always helped the team generate offense with his skating and puck-moving ability.
"Even though he's not a big numbers guy offensively, I've always felt Dumo is a guy that's helped us generate offense as a team," Sullivan said. "He helps us create that four-man front that a lot of times allows our forwards to get to the blue line with possession. He may never end up with the puck or in the play, but just his presence by joining the rush helps us create offense. He also makes a great outlet pass. He goes tape-to-tape, he sees the ice pretty well, he has good poise with the puck. He really helps us get out of our end efficiently."
Dumoulin ended up playing 25 minutes in the game, and saw a decent amount of power-play time. Sullivan joked after the game that he might be stealing Kris Letang's spot.
"He came in and wanted to see our power-play breakout against their penalty kill between periods and I asked him if I should talk to Tanger," Sullivan said with a laugh. "He just smiled."
* Just like yesterday in Columbus, the Pens' NHL players were their best players, which is exactly what you want to see heading into the season. Tanev and Dumoulin connected for their first goal, while Bryan Rust made a pretty play to set up Jared McCann on their second.
* John Marino - acquired from Edmonton earlier this summer - is one of just two players (along with Sam Lafferty) to dress in all four of Pittsburgh's preseason games thus far. "We just want to see their games," Sullivan said.
"They're guys that we're excited about and the more we get an opportunity to watch them play in each respective game, I think it gives us all a better understanding of where they're at and where they fit in the Penguins organization. That's the rationale. We'll keep watching them play and obviously we have to make some difficult decisions here moving forward."
I thought Marino was particularly impressive today. He stood out starting at the 2019 Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, and has just continued to get better and better. He's a smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman who has done a tremendous job on breakouts.
At the rookie tournament, he told me that he wants to contribute more on the offensive blue line, and he did a good job of that today. There was one shift in the offensive zone where he showed off some impressive stickhandling and vision.
* Overall, the Pens have been getting some really solid goaltending this preseason from all of their netminders. After splitting the first game last Monday at Penn State with Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry played the entirety of today's contest and looked terrific. He had to come up with some really challenging stops, including a beautiful glove save to rob Detroit's Anthony Mantha of what looked like a sure goal.