The Penguins did a lot of good against Boston on Tuesday, but they didn’t get two points. Instead, they earned one in their 6-5 overtime loss.
Sydney Crosby Just 30 seconds into the game, the Bruins got the first goal before the Bruins scored twice to go 2-1 at the break. The Penguins then had a phenomenal second third, getting four unanswered Yevgeny Malkin, Josh Archibald, Bryan Rost and Rickard Rackelthe starting goalie Linus Ullmark chased out of the net.
From there, the Bruins responded with four unanswered goals of their own. Taylor Hall got the go-ahead with 1:17 left in regulation. After the Penguins failed to convert a 4-on-3 power play in overtime, Hampus Lindholm scored the deciding goal (after providing assists on each of his team’s previous three goals) to secure the comeback win.
The Penguins are now 0-4-1 in the last five to bring their aggregate record to 4-4-2. Head coach Mike Sullivan commented after the game before the team flew to Buffalo. They will play the second half of this back-to-back against the Sabers on Wednesday night at the KeyBank Center.
What prevented the Penguins from finishing the game when they were three goals ahead and also maintaining a two-goal lead in the third: “Well, it’s about a number of things. But at the end of the day we have to find a way to win games. If you have a two-goal lead in the third game, you’re in a good position to win. We had chances to win and we didn’t take them.”
How to better protect leads: “We have to defend better. We need to make better decisions with the puck. We can play the kind of game that will lead us to success, but we just have to manage the game better. A lot of this is just risking your calculation and making sure you stay above the puck. You don’t have to make things that don’t exist. Force teams to play goal line to goal line, things like that. That’s just learning how to win.
On how some of the players felt they weren’t doing their job well enough to help in this regard: “I didn’t have the feeling at all behind the bench that we were leaning back in the lead. I thought we were playing our toes; we had some time in the offensive zone; we had some looks in the offensive zone. It wasn’t like we didn’t set a time zone or didn’t get any chances to score. It wasn’t about being pinched in our end for the whole third third. I didn’t feel it at all. I thought we broke down on a couple of occasions and it ended up in the back of our net.”
On how some of the players mentioned too much risk and how to nip it in the bud before it becomes a bigger problem: “We’re learning the hard way right now. If we want to be the team we want to be, we can’t beat ourselves. And the easiest way to beat yourself is to not bother with the puck in the critical areas of the rink, you know? Especially in and around the blue lines, on either side of it. It’s such an important area of the ice rink. If you don’t make good decisions there, if you don’t watch out for the puck, you’re feeding an opponent’s switching game. And it’s hard for your team to get into any sort of defensive stance. So it’s a really important area of the rink and I don’t think we’ve made that area of the rink and we have to be consistent enough to win hockey games. In this area in particular, I think we need to get better as a group.
On his take on the power play in overtime and the power play in general since there doesn’t seem to be much of a comfort zone when the Penguins gain man advantage: “Yeah, we’re trying to get these guys on the same page. They’re very capable guys when they’re at their best. In my opinion they are among the best in the league. I think we made it We had moments where we were pretty good. Of course, when you get that 4v3 in overtime, you want them to score and win the game for you. I don’t think it was us. We did our best there but we had three really good chances and we didn’t have any. So we have to work with them. We have to keep working with them and make sure that as a coaching staff we do everything we can to lead these guys to success.”