COLUMBUS 5 – PITTSBURGH 4 OT
PIT GOAL SCORERS: Chuck Kobasew (2), James Neal, Dustin Jeffrey
CLB GOAL SCORERS: Artem Anisimov, James Wisniewski, Mark Letestu, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray
POST-GAME THOUGHTS ON SOME NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
*Beau Bennett had a strong game showing great vision and hockey sense, two primary strengths of his game that has the coaching staff believing he’s going to have a special year. I had a scout this week tell me how smart Bennett plays the game is rare for a player his age and who has yet to play one full NHL season.
He is so poised out there and showed very good chemistry with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal tonight. The best fit for Malkin and Neal has always been Chris Kunitz because of everything Kunitz brings to the table and while Bennett isn’t that Kunitz type player who bangs on the forecheck and is the first player in the corners, Bennett could excel with Malkin and Neal because of his ability to get the puck to Malkin, Neal in open space.
Chuck Kobasew scored twice and had the type of performance you need to have when you’re on a PTO trying to earn an NHL contract. A promising game for Kobasew as he capitalized on the scoring opportunities he got.
*I’ve been talking up 2010 4th round pick Tom Kuhnhackl through the first couple days of camp and it was no surprise to see him play well in some areas tonight. How Kuhnhackl played tonight is how he’s practiced and performed in the scrimmages.
He picked up an assist on Chuck Kobasew’s 1st period goal and Kuhnhackl was very effective in around the net (an area he’s been strong at in camp) and I continue to see improved board play. Kuhnhackl has been doing a lot of 1-on-1 work with Billy Guerin in that area and Kuhnhackl is starting to make an impression on the organization that they think they might have something here (potential NHL player). What the team has been happy with is Kuhnhackl’s drive to learn and get better, a team source told me Friday.
*Derrick Pouliot’s skating and ability on the breakout stood out for the most part. We also got a glimpse of a future No. 1 power play pointman.
*Marc Andre Fleury gave up 2 goals on 12 shots. He basically looked how he’s looked in camp. Average. His positioning hasn’t been strong through first five days of camp, but hey like everyone seems to say, it doesn’t matter because it’s training camp.
MONDAY’S LINEUP VS RED WINGS
Forwards: Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Jussi Jokinen, Brandon Sutter, Matt D’Agostini, Craig Adams, Harry Zolnierczyk, Jayson Megna, Brian Gibbons, Nick Drazenovic
Defensemen: Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Olli Maatta, Simon Despres, Deryk Engelland
Goaltenders: Tomas Vokoun, Eric Hartzell