Note: Apologies for the delay on this one, gang. Ya boy had life things going on. As a result, we’re handling this bad boy a little differently. Now presenting: A recap by the numbers.
For the fourth game in a row, the Penguins played into a 1 goal decision*, taking down the Dallas Stars in their home barn, finishing this one without blowing a late lead and having to go into extra innings, despite having to play the remaining 1:20 of the game at 6-on-4.
*Still impossible to call a shootout game a 1 goal game. It was a tie. Fight me.
Matt Murray was brilliant (again), Phil Kessel racked up a pair of assists, but the story of the game was Jared McCann’s game winner, coming shorthanded at the 4:20 mark of the third period.
It doesn’t get much sweeter than that, folkssss.
- McCann’s first of the night came from a great feed from Phil!, whose forechecking on the play was so admirable that 4th grade you would’ve slipped a Valentine’s Day card into its box.
pHiL kEsSeL sTiNkS aT eVeN sTrEnGtH
- But at the end of the day, it was Matt Murray getting the warrior helmet in the post game. Why? Well, Murr stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced (.935 SV%) and 28 of 30 at 5v5. Notably, though, was the work he put in from shots in his kitchen.
At 5v5, Murr faced 12 high danger shots against, stopping all 12.
- The Guentzel-Crosby-Rust line played some high even hockey, going 23-18 in 5v5 shot attempts on the night in 15 minutes of ice time together. They were on the ice for 20 scoring chances in total, generating 9 of them, but got hammered with high danger chances 2-7.
- Perhaps the best line of the night, which seems to really been finding their stride lately, was the Simon-Bjugstad-Hornqvist line. In 11:58 of 5v5 time together, they controlled 63.64% of the shot attempts, 58%+ of the unblocked attempts and shots on goal, and an even 4-4 split of scoring chances. Between the three of them individually, they topped the Pens in the possession metrics.
- Hornqvist led the team in 5v5 shots on goal himself with 4 on 6 attempts (2nd most behind Guentzel’s 7). Guentzel’s 7 scoring chances was also a team high, with Hornqvist following him up with 5 of his own. But he and Jake generated 3 high danger chances apiece. For as much shit as Hornqvist has taken lately, he seems to be finding his form again.
- Guentzel is just 2 goals shy of 40 on the year, scoring the lone powerplay goal of the game on the Pens only chance.
- Rare game for the Pens where the generated fewer scoring chances and high danger chances than their opponents, going 22-27 and 10-17 respectively. Pens did control the general flow of shot attempts 56-53 for the game, with an even 40-40 split in unblocked attempts. Score effects played a role (as seen below). Stars start coming after McCann’s goal, but Murr shut the door.
- Letang now with 1G-2A in his three games since returning from injury. Mark Giordano is going to win the Norris, but it’s impossible to not have Letang in the top 3.
Caps and Islanders both won today, so the Pens remain in 3rd in the Metro as they finish up their road trip at MSG on Monday night. Do it. Go Pens.