Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins' 4-3 overtime loss to Arizona…
Mike Sullivan wasn't happy after his team's 4-1 win over the Avalanche on Thursday, saying the result was the only thing he was pleased with. Though the Pens didn't get the result they wanted tonight, it was a much better effort overall. What Sullivan liked the most about this game was his team's resiliency, as they battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to get a much-deserved point.
After Bryan Rust was injured in Thursday's game against Colorado, the Pens recalled Josh Archibald to take his spot in the lineup. He flew to join the team in Arizona and dressed for just his second career game tonight against the Coyotes - and what a night he had. Archibald has been steadily improving his offensive game in the minors, and that showed when he scored his first career goal and added another.
This morning, Sullivan told me how Archibald is a guy who can really skate. He said Archibald would be in on the forecheck and forcing turnovers, and that happened on his second goal. During a Coyotes power play, Mike Smith went to play a puck and Archibald was all over him. He coughed it up right to the Pens winger, who put it into the open net for a shorthanded goal.
Sullivan also said that Archibald is a pesky player to play against, and that was apparent when he drew the ire of Coyotes forward Jordan Martinook and drew a penalty as a result. Martinook tried to mix it up with Archibald and ended up getting a roughing minor instead, sending the Pens on the power play.
Unfortunately, the power play was the biggest negative of the night for Pittsburgh. The Pens went 0-for-4 on the man-advantage and weren't able to convert a huge opportunity in overtime. Phil Kessel told me it wasn't their best effort and they wanted to be better than they were - and he said they will be better next time.
Martin Hanzal also tallied twice in the game and was a thorn in Marc-Andre Fleury's side all night. The 6-foot-5 forward is a big body to move and a tough guy to see around.