“I think the answer to the question is both (the officials could have called coincidental minors) and Kris (Letang) has to keep his cool,” Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said.
After the Penguins failed to hold a 2-0 lead, and the Carolina Hurricanes forced overtime, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang quarreled with Carolina forward Vincent Trocheck in overtime. Officials gave Letang a penalty for a couple of extra slashes, and Carolina scored a power-play goal for a 3-2 OT win.
On the ice, Sullivan, captain Sidney Crosby and Letang all had a few words for the officials. Sullivan deferred during his postgame presser.
Casey DeSmith was brilliant, stopping 39 of 42 shots. The Penguins were badly outplayed for most of the second and third periods, but a combination of DeSmith and just enough defensive zone coverage kept Carolina from pulling away.
“You’ve got to give them credit, too. They’re a good team, and I thought they pushed. They played with a lot of urgency tonight. They had lost a couple in a row. We knew they would,” Sullivan said.
From Letang’s penalty to the Penguins’ failure to keep pushing the simple tactic they used in the first period, the Penguins let a big one get away, and gave away some of the gains of their dominant performance on Thursday night against Tampa Bay. The chalkboard and report card are straight forward.