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Game 2: Observations from the Seats

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I was in attendance for Game 2 between the Penguins and Rangers, and noticed a few things that made the difference for Pittsburgh

Jamie Sabau

Anyone who watches the Penguins can agree that last night's Game 2 vs. the Rangers was Pittsburgh's first performance in this postseason where they played a full sixty minutes.

Observations:

  • Paul Martin is the most composed Penguin and it's not close. In any situation, he appears to be unflappable. Facing chances at breakaways, he gets back in position and breaks them up.
  • Sidney Crosby looks just fine. His speed through the neutral zone looks like his usual self. You know that look...defenseman with the puck ready for a break-out, Crosby with his head up, looking for the puck, ready to drive the zone
  • The penalty kill in the first period was a thing of beauty, notably Rob Scuderi and Marc-Andre Fleury
  • Brian Gibbons in for Tanner Glass (a healthy scratch) made a big impact in game pace for the 3rd line, also big in puck battles and 50/50 pucks
  • The Penguins never looked back after their first goal, which is refreshing to see, since we know how often they go into a shell after taking a lead
  • In the 2nd and 3rd periods, the Penguins capitalized on the Rangers looking tired. The thing that I noticed the most was how the Penguins used their breakout passes. Instead of using a stretch pass up the middle, or trying to enter the zone clean, you would see the defensemen breaking out the pass off the boards between their own blue line and center red, catching a Penguins forward with the puck at the opposing blue line and moving around the Rangers defense. If you can't go through the defense, just go around them.
  • If the Penguins can catch the Rangers looking fatigued again, I don't see why they can't use that same kind of break-out tonight at Madison Square Garden and keep making those Rangers defensemen skate and skate and skate. Wear them down.

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