Play of the game: Sutter's goal completes rally
Six weeks ago, Brandon Sutter woke up on trade deadline day not knowing if he'd be with the Penguins for much longer.
Sutter was tied to prospective trade offers. Perhaps worse, though, the Penguins kept him and acquired a replacement. Soon after, Sutter was demoted to the fourth line from his customary third-line spot.
But in the Penguins' postseason opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, Sutter was the hero.
Sutter's goal with 12:42 to play capped a Penguins' comeback from down two and lifted them to a 4-3 win in Game 1 of the first-round series.
“We're happy for him,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “He does a lot of things that go under the radar that help our team win, a lot of the small details ... that you need to win games.”
Sutter's wrist shot from the top of the right-wing circle beat goalie Sergei Bobrovsky between his right (stick) hand and his body. Sutter was on a 2-on-1 with Beau Bennett, who fed him the puck in the neutral zone.
“(Bennett) drove to the net, and it kind of pulled the d-man back a bit, and they did good job of taking the pass away so I knew I had to shoot it,” Sutter said. “You just look up and try to pick a spot and shoot it there.”
The goal accounted for Sutter's only point but he provided a screen in front of Bobrovsky for a Penguins power-play goal 1:34 into the second that answered a Columbus short-handed tally 51 seconds earlier and kept the Penguins in the game when it looked to be slipping away at 3-1.
Sutter also had a breakaway during the second period, but Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin denied a shot when he hooked Sutter's stick from behind with his stick.
“You get a break like that, you prefer to at least get a shot off,” Sutter said. “So it was nice to bounce back and get one.”
Bouncing back is what Sutter has done after being on the verge of being forgotten in early March. First there was the prospective trade to Vancouver. When that never materialized, the Penguins instead acquired Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak. A few games into his Penguins tenure, Goc was centering the third line and Sutter the fourth.
But Goc suffered an ankle injury late last month, putting Sutter back in his usual spot.
“He's very responsible out there,” said Bennett, who played the final two periods on a line with Sutter. “It's not a hard transition when you're playing with him. He's always in the right spot.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
- Penguins notebook: Pouliot dazzles in victory over Blue Jackets
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins
- Baby Penguins notebook: Goalie Murray on historic run of success
- Power play shines in Penguins’ home victory over Blue Jackets
- Winnik impresses Penguins in first workout
- Penguins’ Kunitz makes a dream come true
- Finding perfect pairing for Ehrhoff key for Penguins
- Rossi: Winnik nice, but not enough for Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Shootouts becoming a concern
- Penguins eye move for former center Staal