Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens' 2-1 overtime loss against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.
* It isn't a secret that the Pens have struggled on the tail end of back-to-back contests. They're 0-4 on the year while being outscored 28-7 heading into the game against Calgary.
Though the Penguins fell in the overtime session, it was a much more competitive contest than they've shown previously this season. It was a close battle that could have gone either way.
* Captain Sidney Crosby said the common denominator to the blowouts in back-to-back games has been their poor starts. So if Pittsburgh wanted to buck the trend against Calgary, it needed a better start to the game.
The Penguins not only had a great start, they had arguably their best start of the season against the Flames. No, they didn't score a goal. But they were dominant in terms of zone time, carrying momentum and creating chances. The Pens had a 19-9 edge in shot. That's right, 19. Four of which were from Evgeni Malkin.
The Pens didn't spot the Flames an early lead, and thus, gave themselves a chance to win.
* It was no surprise that the Penguins called upon Tristan Jarry to start in the second half of this back-to-back sequence. Jarry made his NHL debut in last year's regular-season finale in New York against the Rangers. Jarry allowed three goals in a 3-2 loss in that game. He looked a little nervous and jittery during that contest, understandable considering it was his first taste of the NHL.
What a difference a year makes. Jarry looked poised and in control in his season debut against the Flames. You could see glimpses of why scouts were enthralled by his game in juniors. Jarry made several huge saves, particularly during penalty kills, that were the difference in the game. Jarry's best save was a split-pad stop on a breakaway by Mark Jankowski in the third period.
Though he ended up on the wrong end of the scoreboard, Jarry deserved much better.
* Ryan Reaves played his usual physical style of hockey. In the waning minutes of the second period he laid two heavy hits. The second was to Matthew Tkachuk, knocking him into the bench at the glass partition. Tkachuk left the game, though he did return of the third period. Reaves was given a roughing penalty on that hit. Though Tkachuk was temporarily hurt, it was a clean hit and shouldn't have warranted a penalty. Pittsburgh was able to kill off the penalty, but it would have been a shame if that call had changed the outcome of the game.