PITTSBURGH – Joel Quenneville insisted when he agreed to teach the Florida Panthers final spring the perpetually struggling membership was near figuring it out.
Following a sluggish begin, it appears as if Quenneville could be proper.
Mike Hoffman had a aim and an help, rookie Chris Driedger stopped 31 pictures and the Panthers ended an eight-game shedding streak on Pittsburgh ice with a Four-1 victory over the Penguins on Sunday evening.
“It was good that we performed a full 60 minutes,” stated centre Vincent Trochek, who arrange Brett Connolly’s aim late halfway via the primary interval that gave the Panthers a lead they might by no means relinquish. “It’s been a difficulty of ours, closing out video games within the third interval, popping out slightly bit flat when we’ve a lead. Tonight, we got here out within the third and performed simply in addition to we did within the first and second.”
Frank Vatrano had his ninth and Evgenii Dadonov added an empty-netter for his 18th. Florida bounced again from a loss to Buffalo on Saturday by profitable in Pittsburgh for the primary time since Jan. 20, 2014.
Driedger, who performed effectively in aid after changing Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled in opposition to the Sabres, did not hesitate when requested if the victory felt like an important of the season.
“Yeah, truthfully,” Driedger stated. “The blokes did an important job. I believe, the final sport, we weren’t pleased with the loss there. Type of rallied and attempt to do little issues slightly bit higher.”
Jared McCann scored his 11th for Pittsburgh. Tristan Jarry completed with 31 saves, however the Penguins appeared out of gasoline at instances whereas enjoying for the third time in 4 nights.
“I don’t suppose we had the juice that we’ve had in quite a few the video games, in a lot of the video games this 12 months,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan stated. “However I believe one of many challenges of this league is the grind of the schedule and good groups simply want to grasp easy methods to handle these video games.”
For as soon as, the Penguins could not.
Pittsburgh reached the season’s midway level with the NHL’s fourth-best report following an time beyond regulation victory in Montreal on Saturday evening, heady territory for a membership that is been riddled with accidents since opening evening and spent the final two months enjoying with out captain Sidney Crosby. Their system in the course of the first 41 video games has been remarkably easy: keep away from main errors, play good in entrance Jarry and Matt Murray and handle enterprise at PPG Paints Enviornment.
Pittsburgh arrived at work Sunday with an NHL-high 16 dwelling victories thanks largely to stellar play from Jarry, who leads the NHL in save share and goals-against common and entered Sunday unbeaten in regulation in his final seven dwelling begins.
But a sluggish opening interval lower than 24 hours faraway from a fast journey to Canada value Pittsburgh. Vatrano chased down a lead go from Hoffman then raced round Pittsburgh defenceman Kris Letang — one of many quickest skaters within the league — and jammed the puck by Jarry to provide the Panthers the lead simply 2:28 into the sport.
McCann tied it 1:24 later because of some wonderful work by linemate Dominik Simon. Simon skated via the impartial zone, drew two Panthers and handed to McCann, who ripped one by Driedger to drag the Penguins even.
But Pittsburgh is not the one nice shock in the course of the NHL’s first half. The Panthers are within the combine within the Atlantic Division behind a potent offence that ranks fourth within the league in objectives. Florida can skate and rating, and Connolly put the Panthers in entrance 10:44 into the primary when Trochek — working behind the web — discovered Connolly within the slot.
And for the primary time in a very long time for Florida in Pittsburgh, the Panthers did not give it again.
Although Jarry settled down and saved the Penguins within the sport with some well timed stops, Driedger was each bit his match. Jarry made a sprawling stick save on Aaron Ekblad early within the second and Driedger matched it with a terrific blocker save on a charging Simon.
“That they had a pair two—on-ones tonight that he bailed us out on, that’s big,” Trochek stated.
Hoffman gave the Panthers a two-goal benefit eight:52 into the third with a shot that zipped over Jarry’s shoulder. Driedger and the defence did the remaining to provide Florida simply its second victory in Pittsburgh since 2009.
“I believe we performed the clock, the rating, in opposition to an excellent crew,” Quenneville stated. “They have been on a roll. I appreciated the dedication that the fellows had, placing the puck within the secure areas. You do not at all times should manufacture stuff and if we hold bettering that in our sport, we’ll be a a lot better crew.”
NOTES: Pittsburgh went zero for three on the power-play and has gone 4 straight video games with out a aim when given the person benefit. Florida went zero for 1 on the facility play. … Penguins C Evgeni Malkin was held with out a level and stays one help shy of tying Jaromir Jagr for third on the franchise’s profession help record (640). … Pittsburgh dropped to 15-6-Four with out Crosby, who’s nearing a return from belly surgical procedure. … Florida scratched C Brian Boyle and Ds Mark Pysyk and MacKenzie Weegar. Pittsburgh scratched D Kevin Czuczman and C Sam Lafferty.
Panthers: Begin a four-game homestand on Tuesday evening in opposition to Arizona.
Penguins: Start a three-game western swing Tuesday evening in Las Vegas.
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