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The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled goaltender Tristan Jarry from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Goalie Casey DeSmith has been re-assigned to WBS.

Jarry, 22, has won three-straight games for WBS prior to his recall, including 18 saves on 20 shots in a 5-2 win at Bridgeport last Saturday night. Overall, Jarry has started five games this year, going 3-2 with a 3.18 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage.

Last season, the 6-foot-2, 194-pound Jarry backstopped WBS to the top regular-season record in the AHL, compiling a 28-15-2 record, three shutouts, a 2.15 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage in 45 appearances. He and DeSmith combined to win the Harry “Hap” Holmes Award after allowing the fewest goals in the AHL.

Jarry, who hails from Surrey, British Columbia, made his NHL debut for Pittsburgh in last year’s season-finale at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. He has dressed as the backup goalie in the opening round of the NHL playoffs for the Penguins each of the last two seasons, and was also a member of the “Black Aces” practice squad both years as well.

Pittsburgh’s second-round (44th overall) draft pick in 2013, Jarry has played in 83 career AHL regular-season games with WBS, going 48-30-5 with a 2.42 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and eight shutouts.

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Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens’ 7-1 loss against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place.

*What is most disconcerting about this loss for the Penguins wasn’t the lack of effort, but lack of execution. Pittsburgh played casually with the puck, and that laziness led to turnovers. Those turnovers fed the Winnipeg transition game, and made life easy on the Jets.

It was careless mistakes that killed the Pens. Whether it was Evgeni Malkin losing the puck at his own blue line. Or Kris Letang getting shaked out of his skates. Or Zach Trotman getting lost in the neutral zone, the Penguins made plenty of mistakes.

*Pittsburgh gave up five goals in the first period, and trailed 5-0 after 20 minutes. That included surrendering three goals in a 34-second span, and a hat trick to Blake Wheeler. Although Pittsburgh played much better in the second and third period, there was no way to overcome a five-goal deficit. The Pens lost this game in the opening 20. The final 40 were a formality.

*The Penguins gave up a goal to the Jets just 80 seconds after puck drop, and it was an omen of things to come. Pittsburgh had three opportunities to clear the puck out of its defensive zone, and failed to do so. Winnipeg took advantage of Pittsburgh’s tired legs and Andrew Copp scored his first goal of the season.

*Goalie Casey DeSmith had a rude introduction to the NHL. After Matt Murray gave up four goals on nine shots in the first period, the Penguins turned to DeSmith. First, he had trouble locating his gear, which was on the bench. Then DeSmith faced a 2-on-1 rush in the opening seconds of his NHL tenure. On the play Wheeler finished off his hat trick. DeSmith gave up a goal on the first shot he faced in his career.

DeSmith did make a couple exceptional saves in the final two frames, but it certainly wasn’t an ideal circumstance to make your NHL debut.

*If there was one bright spot – and there weren’t many – it was Pittsburgh’s power play. The unit once against looked fantastic in its puck movement and generating chances. The Pens’ power play registered the club’s only goal of the game and continues to thrive.

However, Pittsburgh cannot win games solely on its power play. The Pens need to get much better at 5-on-5.

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Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was at Thursday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets at PPG Paints Arena, and no, he did not ride his bike to the game.

With all of the drama surrounding his bike – which was stolen, inspired a viral #TeamFindJuJusBike hashtag on Twitter, had the whole city out searching for it and was recently recovered – he figured it was time to give it a break. Plus, he was taking his mother Sammy to the game, so it definitely made more sense just to get a cab.

“I put my baby away, let it rest,” grinned Smith-Schuster, who enthusiastically pantomimed riding a bike when he was shown on the videoboard to Queen’s Bicycle Race, much to the delight of the crowd. “And I took a Lyft here.”

Smith-Schuster has become a big hockey fan since attending his first game in Nashville while on a pre-draft visit to the Tennessee Titans back in April. He went to one of the Predators’ playoff games against the Chicago Blackhawks – who they upset in a first-round sweep.

Once he arrived in Pittsburgh after being selected by the Steelers in the second round of the NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster learned that, coincidentally enough, the Penguins were playing the Predators in the Stanley Cup Final.

“I guess throughout that (NSH-CHI) series, it was really crazy,” Smith-Schuster said. “And when I finally got to Pittsburgh, I got drafted and I was like, ‘man, our Penguins are really good.’ I was like, ‘who are they playing?’ They said the Preds. I was like, ‘I just watched the Preds! They’re killing it right now.’ So I came to every playoff home game.”

He ended up being good luck, as the Penguins won all three Final games Smith-Schuster attended. The superstitious Smith-Schuster said he would have definitely attended Game 7 if there had been one, but the Penguins were able to clinch the Stanley Cup in Game 6, which he watched from his hotel.

A few days later, Smith-Schuster got the chance to see the trophy up close when Nick Bonino brought it to Steelers minicamp. He still marvels at the atmosphere in the arena in the games leading up to that second-straight championship.

“It’s so funny, I still have the videos on my phone,” Smith-Schuster said. “I was showing my mom and saying like, ‘this is way crazier in the playoffs.’ She saw and she was like ‘wow, this is a lot crazier.’ I think for me, the experience of playing at Heinz Field, that energy and vibe, I could just feel it in here with the small arena and the excitement it brings to the city.”

We sat down in a couple of empty seats in Smith-Schuster’s section to talk, which ended up being right next to Matt Murray’s father Jim. Smith-Schuster made sure to tell Jim how much he admired his son, which was a pretty awesome interaction.

“I am a big fan of Matt Murray,” said Smith-Schuster, who identifies with him as a fellow young player. “I even told him like, ‘yo bro, I respect your work. Everything you do.’ He was a rookie, too. This is his second year, right? So that’s why I was like, ‘I’m a big fan.’ To be a young guy, to play early and do what he did was pretty dope.”

Smith-Schuster, who is the youngest player in the NFL at 20 years old, said he is planning to get a No. 30 jersey at some point – which is something the goaltender would love to help him out with.

“JuJu is a ton of fun to watch, and seems like an awesome guy,” Murray said. “I’m a huge fan. He’s said some really nice things about me in the media and I really appreciate it. I’d love to swap jerseys sometime.”

The one jersey Smith-Schuster already has is Sidney Crosby, which he was wearing at Thursday’s game.

“Honestly, I just think everything about him is pretty dope,” Smith-Schuster said. “I look up to AB, Big Ben, those guys. And you look at Sid, a leader, a captain, and the way he plays, it’s pretty dope. He’s just a good role model, you know?”

While Smith-Schuster’s favorite Penguins are Crosby and Murray, he said he has so much respect for all hockey players – especially since the last time he skated, it didn’t go well as he fell and busted his head. However, when his mother asked if he would try it again, Smith-Schuster said if he had full pads and protection he would “for sure.”

“The balance they have, I don’t know how they can skate on ice and focus on everything that they’re doing at the same time,” he laughed. “It’s just so much.”

Smith-Schuster may be relatively new to the game of hockey, but he already loves the sport and how much the teams in this city support each other.

“It’s super huge,” Smith-Schuster said. “I think the best part about it is the unity, we ride as one. In other cities, they have different uniforms, different colors, while we’re black and yellow all the way. No matter what we go through in our situations on the field and off the field, we always stick together.”

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As the unnamed narrator in the film Fight Club said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Pens winger Phil Kessel scored. Again. In overtime. Again. In a Pittsburgh 2-1 win. Again.

Two days after Kessel scored a breakaway game-winning goal in overtime against Edmonton for a 2-1 win, Kessel scored a breakaway game-winning goal in overtime against Winnipeg for a 2-1 win, both at PPG Paints Arena.

“Sometimes you get lucky out there,” Kessel said. “I got two breakaways in overtime and was fortunate enough to get them in.”

Kessel, who had nine shots in the contest, only had one thought going through his head as he eyed up the net behind Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

“Hopefully I score,” he laughed. “I’m just reading and reacting.”

Kessel did, indeed, score. But scoring is what he’s done his entire career. Kessel’s winner against Winnipeg was his 300th career goal in the NHL, an incredible accomplishment.

The Wisconsin native also became just the second American-born player to reach the 300 milestone (Zach Parise, 318).

“I’ve played a lot of games in this league,” Kessel said. “It’s nice to get 300 goals, but I’m just happy to help my team win.”

Most impressive about Kessel’s overtime goal wasn’t even the goal. It was his defensive play to intercept the puck from Jets winger Patrik Laine. And then, from a standstill, he was able to retrieve the puck and outskate the speedy Laine in a race toward the Winnipeg goal.

“He has a knack to score big goals at key times,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “What was impressive about the goal tonight was that he was at a dead stop when he picked that pass off. He created enough separation to get a really good shot off.

“That’s a testament to Phil’s work ethic throughout the course of training camp. Phil’s in as good of shape as he’s been as a Penguin. That’s a credit to him to create that separation.”

Kessel’s overtime goals have also been followed by a playful face wash from teammate Ryan Reaves. A tradition both men hope to continue.

“Every time he scores I give him a nice face wash,” Reaves joked. “I mugged him today. It was bad.”

“He’s given it to me a couple times out there,” Kessel said with a smile. “If we win that’s fine.”

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Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins’ 2-1 win over Edmonton on Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena…

 The biggest storyline heading into this game was Sidney Crosby versus Connor McDavid. The biggest storyline coming out of it was Matt Murray versus Cam Talbot. The goaltenders were spectacular and put on quite the show. With so much talent on both teams, this wasn’t an easy game for the netminders, but they did a terrific job. I thought they were both particularly impressive during power plays.

* Murray made a stop during a second-period man-advantage that’s a candidate for Save of the Year. It was absolutely magnificent. On a broken play the puck skipped right to Mark Letestu, who was wide open on the back door. It looked like Murray wouldn’t be able to recover in time, but he dove across and was able to knock the puck away with the shaft of his stick. Murray is a technically sound goaltender who’s usually in a position where he doesn’t have to make those desperation saves, but power plays are a different story. That was just incredible work by him to get across and keep the puck out of his net.

* Murray was the Pens’ best penalty killer all night, but he certainly got some help from his teammates. Right after that crazy save, chaos erupted in the crease. There were bodies everywhere, and Carl Hagelin ended up saving the day when he reached out and deflected the puck into the corner when the Oilers had another open net. Murray was down and out at that point, but Brian Dumoulin was crouched into a butterfly ready to cover for him if needed. Overall, the Pens did a better job of staying disciplined after getting into penalty trouble their last couple of games.

* The Pens lost Justin Schultz with about five minutes left in the first period when he took an elbow up high. He went to the locker room and did not return, and head coach Mike Sullivan said afterward he had been diagnosed with a concussion. Not only did the Pens go down to five defensemen; but the guys that remained took a beating in this game, particularly when it came to blocking shots. Kris Letang and Chad Ruhwedel both took shots off the lower body that left them in some pain, but they were able to remain in the game. Those guys definitely gutted it out in what turned out to be a surprisingly gritty effort, and Murray couldn’t have been more complimentary of them after the game.

* A win is a win, but this one is particularly satisfying considering how the Pens’ last game went. After allowing seven goals in a loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday they tightened up defensively tonight, especially at even strength. Sullivan said he liked the compete from his guys and that it was certainly a step in the right direction. Now they just need to have more efforts like this on a consistent basis moving forward.

* The goaltenders and defensemen were fantastic, but that’s not to say the stars didn’t shine. It’s a shame we only get to see Connor McDavid twice a year and once in Pittsburgh, because he’s truly a pleasure to watch. The Pens talked this morning about his incredible speed – not just when it comes to skating, but also skating with the puck and making plays. He showed that on a sequence where he danced around Letang and flipped a backhand at Murray that he was able to absorb with his chest, and later he sniped one late in regulation to tie the game.

On the other side, Phil Kessel had a ton of chances all night and finally converted when his team needed it most – 42 seconds into overtime. All in all, the game started off slow, but became an entertaining affair as it went on.

Finally, Riley Sheahan had a real solid effort in his first game wearing black and gold. It was a strong two-way game for the center, who was responsible defensively and made plays offensively. He capped off an excellent shift by earning the secondary assist on Ian Cole’s regulation goal before providing a tremendous screen for the defenseman. All in all, Sullivan said they were real encouraged by Sheahan’s game.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins placed goaltender Antti Niemi on waivers Monday after he appeared in just three games as Matt Murray’s backup.

Niemi, 34, had a 7.49 goals-against average and a .797 save percentage. That includes allowing seven goals in a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

He gave up four goals in under 10 minutes during the Penguins’ 10-1 drubbing by the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 5.

“[Niemi] just drew the bad hand for three games,” general manager Jim Rutherford told reporters, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He had the back-to-back games and we didn’t do a lot to help him, so I feel bad for him.”

Niemi had signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Penguins in the offseason. Niemi, who won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, had been with the Dallas Stars the previous two seasons before they bought out the final year of his contract.

Pittsburgh called up rookie goaltender Casey DeSmith from its AHL affiliate in Wilkes Barre/Scranton.

DeSmith and Tristan Jarry will share backup goaltending duties and will be evaluated on a “week-to-week basis,” according to Rutherford.

The Penguins also announced that forward Carter Rowney had been placed on injured reserve after he left Saturday’s game with an apparent hand injury.

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The fan in Connor McDavid comes out whenever he sees Sidney Crosby’s familiar No. 87 on TV.

“When you’re watching, you’re hoping for him to do something cool,” the Edmonton Oilers star said.

Defending one of his childhood idols is another matter entirely. McDavid will get an up-close look when the Oilers visit Crosby and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

“If you want to model yourself after someone, I think he’s as good a guy as you can get,” said McDavid, who has three goals and five assists through seven games. “He’s won just about anything there is to win in hockey: individual awards, team awards. You name it, he’s got it. If you’re a young guy like me, that’s what you want to do with your career.”

While Crosby totally gets why sharing the ice with McDavid is a thing, he’d rather not talk about it.

“I think there’s always matchups, storylines and things like that … but we’re just going to go out there and play,” said Crosby, who has five goals and five assists.

At the moment, Crosby and the Penguins have more pressing matters than the hype that accompanies the biannual meeting between two of the NHL’s brightest lights.

The Penguins placed goaltender Antti Niemi on waivers on Monday just three games into his tenure as Matt Murray’s backup, called up rookie Casey DeSmith from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and acquired forward Riley Sheahan from Detroit over the weekend to address their need for a third-line center. The Oilers, meanwhile, are off to a slow start following their first playoff appearance in more than a decade.

Pittsburgh swept Edmonton last season, a testament to the depth around Crosby. Crosby was held without a point while McDavid had a goal and three assists in the two games.

“They were two really, really entertaining games,” McDavid said. “Obviously you hope for that and hope for a better result.”

The 30-year-old Crosby and the 20-year-old McDavid are separated by a decade but little else.

They finished 1-2 in Hart Trophy voting last season, with McDavid and his league-leading 100 points edging Crosby and his NHL-high 44 goals. For a while last spring it appeared they were on a collision course for the Stanley Cup Final until the Oilers blew a 3-1 lead against Anaheim in the second round.

It’s not unlike the path Crosby and the Penguins followed shortly after he made his NHL debut in 2005. Pittsburgh reached the postseason in Crosby’s second year. The Penguins reached the Cup final in his third year. In his fourth, he raised the Cup with the franchise’s third championship.

“I can only speak of my experience, going to the final and losing was a really good experience for us as a group,” Crosby said. “Going through that, it’s something you learn through.”

The Oilers are hoping last spring can serve as a launching pad for McDavid, whose vision and speed make him a nightmare matchup for anyone tasked with trying to keep up. The responsibility will fall largely on Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang, who should see plenty of McDavid’s No. 97 on Tuesday.

“I just think what’s tough for a defenseman is sometimes a guy can go fast in a straight line and he doesn’t have his head up, he’s just worried about beating you wide,” said Letang, one of the fastest skaters in the league. “This guy is like looking straight into your eyes and he’s going full speed so you’re like, “Oh [no], what is he going to do?’”

Asked to compare McDavid’s quickness to another player outside his own dressing room, Letang responded: “No one is near that guy.”

Oilers coach Todd McLellan will try to find a balance between figuring out a way to steer his team out of its early funk while also appreciating the special talent on the ice.

“It will come down to team play but you do appreciate as a coach, a fan, even a player, their skill set and what they brought to their teams and their communities,” McLellan said. “Even off the rink, both of them are tremendous that way. It’s fun when they’re together.”

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Riley Sheahan and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Scott Wilson and a 2018 third-round draft pick.

The trade was announced before the Penguins played Tampa Bay on Saturday night. Detroit also sent defenseman Ryan Sproul to the New York Rangers for forward Matt Puempel.

The 25-year-old Sheahan, whose contract expires at the end of this season, has no points in eight games this year. Sheahan has 38 goals and 60 assists in 292 career games with Detroit. He was the Red Wings’ first-round draft pick in 2010.

Wilson, also 25, has 13 goals and 19 assists in 106 games, all with Pittsburgh. He’s pointless in three games this season.

The 24-year-old Sproul has a goal and six assists in 28 career NHL games. This season, he had a goal and three assists in five games for Grand Rapids in the American Hockey League. Puempel, also 24, has 10 goals and five assists in 79 games with Ottawa and the Rangers. This season, he has a goal and two assists in five games for Hartford in the AHL.

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The Penguins are in Florida to play the Panthers in the first game of a back-to-back.

MATCH: Penguins vs. Panthers

TIME: 7:30 p.m. EST

PLACE: BB&T Center

TV: AT&T SportsNet

RADIO: 105.9 FM, the X

5 NOTES ON THE GAME:

1. The Pens have won four-straight games against the Panthers, one game shy of Pittsburgh’s longest winning streak in the history of the series (accomplished twice previously). At the BB&T Center, the Pens are 3-0-2 in their past five visits. Overall, the Pens have a 10-game point streak against the Panthers (8-0-2).

2. Part of the Panthers’ game plan is to shoot from everywhere, as they lead the NHL with an average of 41.8 shots per game and have outshot their opponents in 4 of their 5 games. That includes their 4-3 loss to the Pens on Oct. 14, where Matt Murray faced a regular-season career-high 46 shots.

3. Both Mike Sullivan and Sidney Crosby said it would be crucial for them to hold onto the puck against the Panthers, a skilled team with speed who’s good off the rush. “We’ve got to make sure we take care of the puck, we don’t feed their transition game and we hang onto the puck down in the offensive zone and force them to have to expend energy defending us,” Sullivan said. “I think that’s how you control momentum in games – when you control territory – and that’s when our team is at its best.”

4. Crosby scored twice in the matchup last week, and enters this game with a four-game goal-scoring streak against the Panthers (7 goals total). Meanwhile, Patric Hornqvist has a three-game point streak (2G-1A) against Florida.

5. Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau also scored twice in that game. He has registered at least a point in every game he’s played this season and has 7 points (4G-3A) in 11 career games against the Pens.

INJURIES:

PIT – Matt Hunwick (concussion)

FLA – None

MORNING SKATE:

The Pens did not hold a morning skate. Sullivan will speak to the media at 5:30 p.m.

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Here’s a look at 3 takeaways from the Penguins’ Thursday afternoon practice at the Panthers Ice Den in Sunrise, Florida.

1. Not a typical day off

The Pens didn’t have a typical day off on Wednesday when they arrived in Florida around 3 a.m. that morning following their 5-4 overtime win over the New York Rangers on Thursday. Usually when the team is in Florida to play the Panthers, they stay in Sunrise, which is where the arena is located – about a 30-40 minute drive from the ocean. But for this particular trip, the Pens opted to stay closer to the beach, which allowed the guys to get some bonding time in the sun and the sand.

“It’s refreshing,” Jake Guentzel said. “You get to hang out with guys on the road and interact and be around with them in a different way. It really helps. No matter what you’re doing, you’re always around the guys, so it’s definitely refreshing to be outside in the sun and on the beach and get some time to enjoy it, so it was fun.”

While the Pens didn’t take the ice on Wednesday, they did have a team workout. The strength and conditioning staff made it as fun as they could, pairing the guys into teams of two and having them partake in a spikeball tournament. Guentzel and Brian Dumoulin ended up the winners.

“Dumo was the MVP,” laughed Guentzel, who went out and played more spikeball on the beach with a few guys later that afternoon, including Sidney Crosby.

“It’s nice,” Crosby said. “We’ve been playing a lot lately, so it’s good to be in a nice climate, have a day off, recharge a bit. We’ve got back-to-backs again coming up, so we’ve got to take advantage of those. Nice to get one here in Florida.”

The Pens practiced on Thursday at the Panthers Ice Den, and will not hold a morning skate on Friday before they play Florida at 7:30 p.m.

2. Back-to-backs

The Pens have a league-high 19 back-to-backs this season, and with their third set coming up Friday against the Panthers and Saturday against Tampa Bay. They weren’t particularly pleased with how they did in each of the previous two: first they lost to St. Louis, 5-4, in the season opener before that dreadful 10-1 loss to Chicago the next night; the next week, they beat Washington 3-2 before falling to Tampa Bay, 5-4.

That being said, they feel much more prepared for the one ahead. First of all, they just played both the Lightning and the Panthers, so that familiarity helps. And second of all, there’s more of a comfort level that comes with experience.

“It’s good. Teams will know each other pretty well, but I think that being said, it’s good just because we’ve got a couple now that we’ve played,” Crosby said. “We felt those early on in the year, they were a little bit more of a shock to the system when you play your first couple back-to-backs or three in four. Now that we’ve done it a couple times I think it’s nice and we should be a little bit more comfortable with them.”

Quite honestly, the back-to-backs have been toughest on the goaltenders, Antti Niemi in particular – who was in net for the second game of both sets. Head coach Mike Sullivan said the other day that they would ideally like to put Niemi in a situation where he has a fresh hockey team in front of him, and that his two starts to this point have been difficult games logistically.

We’ll find out who will get the nod when Sullivan speaks to the media at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. But regardless of who starts which game, both goalies are preparing the same way.

“Our job is to stop the puck and do whatever we can to do that,” Matt Murray said. “I don’t think we should change, whether it’s a back-to-back or not. A lot of times, as goalies, we’re not playing back-to-back. So it’s just about treating every game the same, I think, and having that mindset that we need to be a little bit harder, a little bit better and that’s something that will maybe dictate the play a little bit more.”

3. Walking the walk

Before Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime win against the New York Rangers, Evgeni Malkin said that his line needed to play better and help the team to win games. He and Phil Kessel did exactly that.

While it wasn’t their best overall effort – Malkin admitted to having some frustration during the game that boiled over when he came to the defense of his winger – he still finished with four points (1G-3A), including the overtime game-winner, which Kessel set him up for. The winger ended up recording three points (1G-2A).

“They’re such a big part of our team, it’s important that they can produce offensively to help us win,” Sullivan said. “But I think the last game is an indication of how talented they are, and I thought they were trying to play the game with some of the observations and insights that our coaching staff had been giving them to try to help them in the offensive zone.

“They’re staying closer to one another, they’re stopping on pucks, they’re not playing in constant motion and as a result, they had the puck a whole lot more and some sustained offensive zone time. It wasn’t just chances off the rush. They’re going to get their chances off the rush because they’re talented. But where we’ve challenged Geno’s line is to have the ability to create offense different ways. I thought in the Rangers game, they had a number of shifts where they had sustained zone time because they were stopping on pucks and doing the little things that I think helps them in that area.”