‘Our team wasn’t at the level we needed,’ says Penguins coach Bylsma

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The Chicago Blackhawks were the better team on Saturday, in a snowy Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field. And Penguins’ head coach Dan Bylsma knew it.

He was blunt in his remarks of his team’s play in a 5-1 loss to the host Blackhawks, not using the wintery conditions as an excuse – even if the constant snowfall made it next to impossible for the skilled players to handle the puck.

“It wouldn’t have mattered if we played this game inside or outside or if there was snow or no snow. They were better and
more prepared to play, whatever the conditions were. And the first half of the game was a large indication of that,” Bylsma told reporters after the game.

“They played to their advantage of being in the offensive zone, they executed better getting there, and they were that team, and we were not.”

The lone Pittsburgh goal was credited to James Neal, although it was Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook who one-timed the puck into his own wide open net in the third period. For the Penguins, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, two of Pittsburgh’s most dangerous offensive players, were held off the score sheet.

“Our team wasn’t at the level we needed to be, and they were. And you saw that. You saw that pretty much right from the get-go in this game,” said Bylsma.