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Snap Shots: Pens 3, Islanders 2 (OT)

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins' 3-2 overtime win over the New York Islanders...

* After their 8-4 loss to Boston, their third straight setback, the Pens said all the right things in the locker room about how they needed to regroup and play better and play harder, especially defensively. They went out and followed up their words with actions.

For the most part, the Pens were dominant across all 200 feet of the ice tonight. They were holding onto pucks in the offensive zone and generated a significant amount of scoring chances. They were managing pucks in the neutral zone. They made smart decisions. They won battles. Overall, they just played the right way and there was a lot to like. It was a terrific response from a veteran group, and they got the result they deserved tonight.

* Part of the reason they were able to get that result was because of a big goal from Derick Brassard, his 19th of the season and first as a Penguin. He and Phil Kessel, who set him up, are starting to create some chemistry. "It feels good," Brassard said. "We were down in the score and felt like we were playing a pretty good game, shooting 50 times on their goalie. That was a good effort by our team to bounce back like that after three straight losses."

* Tristan Jarry was victimized by a couple of bad bounces. After a strong opening shift for the Pens, Isles forward Brandon Davidson carried into the offensive zone and released what looked like a harmless shot. As Jarry was reacting, he caught an edge and fell. He tried desperately to regain his balance, but the puck went into the net before he could. It was as bad a bounce as a goalie can get, but credit to him, he recovered nicely.

Later, Anders Lee got the puck off a hand pass from John Tavares, which didn't get called. Lee whacked the puck at the net and it bounced off Oleksiak's skate. He swung his stick at it and would have caught it before it crossed the goal line, but bounced right over his stick. Two tough breaks, but credit to Jarry for how he bounced back, especially in overtime.

* For a while there, it looked like those bounces might decide the game with how well Jarry's counterpart played. Christopher Gibson, playing in just his fifth NHL game and first in two years, appeared unbeatable. The Pens were absolutely peppering him with shots, as they had 30 before the midway point of the second period and finished with 50. And it's not like they were just floated in from the perimeter, either. The Pens were not only creating a quantity of chances, they were quality chances and Gibson was up to the challenge for much of the night.

"It didn't seem like the puck wanted to go in for us. It was one of those nights," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "You can feel it behind the bench when you're getting a fair amount of scoring chances and we couldn't seem to find the back of the net. But I just liked our stick-to-it iveness. We just stayed with it. There was no panic on the bench."

* After allowing three power-play goals and going 0-for-4 on the man-advantage against Boston, the Pens' special teams responded in a big way. The Pens' power play opened the scoring, which was huge considering how well Gibson was playing. Then in overtime, the Pens were called for too many men and the talented, skilled Isles went to work on a 4-on-3. Jarry and the PKers did an unbelievable job of killing it off, allowing Sidney Crosby to eventually win the game in overtime.

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