Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson may have said it best in the postgame TV interview, “got lucky there.”
Johnson was referring to the last second breakaway on which he may, or may not have been guilty of a slash to disrupt the shot. Florida stood on the ice with disbelief as the Penguins rushed off the ice, and Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry looked for the getaway car after stealing two points in the Penguins 3-2 win at BB&T Arena on Saturday night.
No, really, Jarry stole one.
The Penguins needed to stabilize themselves following their survival against Washington last Sunday and their loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday night. The previous four periods were not the best of the Penguins. The Penguins grinders, specifically the third line with Teddy Blueger, Brandon Tanev, and Zach Aston-Reese, did so in the first period, buy Florida swarmed the Penguins in the second period. And much of the third period, too.
“As I told the guys after the game, we’ve got to play on our toes. We’ve got to work to get the next goal,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “We can’t sit back and try to defend the lead.”
The Penguins had only 22 shots and yielded a bushel full of odd-man breaks throughout the game.
The Penguins deployed the first half of the rope-a-dope strategy, except it was they who were on the ropes, and it wasn’t a strategy. Florida forechecked the daylights out of the Penguins defenseman. And Florida transitioned against the Penguins like a pack of sled dogs when a musher cracks the whip.