RECAP 10: Pitiful power-play plagues Pens in 3-1 loss to Rangers

RECAP 10: Pitiful power-play plagues Pens in 3-1 loss to Rangers

Penguins

RECAP 10: Pitiful power-play plagues Pens in 3-1 loss to Rangers

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Jared Silber – Getty

New York Rangers’ goalie Igor Shesterkin stood tall and powered them to a 3-1 victory over the Penguins on Monday night. While it was a strong performance from the Penguins’ top-players as well as their depleted defense-group, it wasn’t enough to snag so much as a point. If anything, this was the hockey gods balancing out one or two of those extra standings points from the Penguins’ shootout victories.

The Penguins were 0-for-6 on the power-play, getting just seven shots on goal.

At some point, you’d think Sidney Crosby would end up anywhere but the left circle on the power-play. After getting a few looks in the bumper position, Crosby once again spent most of the Penguins’ time with the man-advantage at the left circle, which is inarguably his least effective area of the ice. At some point you’d think they would try anything else, but no, it’s as stale as ever.

All situations, the Penguins out-attempted the Rangers 60-46 and had a 26-24 edge in shots. Though scoring chances were nearly dead-even, the Penguins finished with a 3.09-2.0 lead in expected goals, per Evolving Hockey.


LINEUP

Defenseman Kris Letang is designated “day-to-day” and did not play for the Penguins. This resulted in a top-pairing of P.O. Joseph and John Marino. It must be 2024.

Kevin Czuczman drew back into the lineup in Letang’s absence.

Casey DeSmith made his second consecutive start. Tristan Jarry’s -6.9 goals saved above expectation is second worst in the NHL only to former Penguin Matt Murray (-9.8), per Evolving Hockey.

1st period

PIT Goal – Zucker (3) A: Ruhwedel, Malkin [9:05] 1-0 PIT

Less than halfway through the game’s opening period, Jason Zucker snuck beneath defenseman K’Andre Miller and made a beautiful move to bury a point shot that had gone wide from Chad Ruhwedel.

Moments before the goal, Evgeni Malkin evaded a hit from defenseman Jacob Trouba to keep the play alive in the offensive zone.

2nd period

NYR Goal – Rooney (2) A: Panarin, Lindgren [17:42] 1-1

Kevin Rooney is starting to drive me crazy. You forget he even exists and then out of nowhere the camera is panning to his extremely unrecognizable face while the Rangers’ god-awful goal horn is blaring. He’s scored both of his two goals this season against the Penguins.

The Penguins’ defense left him wide-open for way too long, as he eventually buried a loose puck to tie the game.

3rd period

NYR PP Goal – Kreider (4) A: Fox, Panarin [11:10] 2-1 NYR

After the Penguins failed to convert on countless power-play opportunities, the Rangers capitalized on a Chris Kreider deflection just ten seconds into their man advantage over halfway through the third period to take the lead.

DeSmith is not at fault whatsoever here, as Marino and Cody Ceci left Kreider wide open, similar to the Rooney goal.

NYR EN Goal – Panarin (5) A: Strome [19:59] 3-1 NYR

Artemi Panarin struck the empty net with less than a second remaining to boost the Rangers to a 3-1 victory. He had three points on the night (1 G, 2 A), including five shot attempts and 0.46 expected goals, per Natural Stat Trick.

FINAL: 3-1 NYR

Notes

  • Crosby tried to pull off “The Michigan” on his freaking backhand. He was hungry for a goal all night but he failed to convert. He led the Penguins in shot attempts (6), scoring chances (4), high-danger chances (2), and expected goals (0.6), per Natural Stat Trick.

  • Zucker is heating up with three goals in his past four contests. He was a bit snake-bitten, but it seems his game is starting to come around. While I’d be a fool to question his forechecking and puck-retrieval ability, at times he’s looked slightly uncomfortable with the puck on his stick. That hasn’t been the case as of late.
  • Malkin continues to turn the puck over at an alarming rate. He was charged with a single giveaway on the night, but I remember three off the top of my head. Regardless, he had some of his best single-game results of the season. He had five shot attempts, three scoring chances and an assist on top of a 76.5% 5v5 shot attempt share and 90.7% 5v5 expected goals share, per Natural Stat Trick.
  • Ceci was kind of, good, again? He played a smooth game other than the instance where he dangerously skated the puck directly to the front of the Penguins’ cage and into Desmith. He finished the night with a 64.3% 5v5 shot attempt share and 59.6% 5v5 expected goals share.

  • Any delusions of assistant coach Todd Reirden “working wonders” for the Penguins’ power-play have been squandered. The Penguins rank dead-last in the NHL in power-play shot attempts per hour (64.9), and power-play expected goals for per hour (4.09), per Evolving Hockey.
  • After further consideration, the reverse retros are pretty meh. They lack character and really anything interesting. The shoulder logo blows and the sleeves have a bland, out of place stripe. It’s cool to have new sweaters but I have my doubts these will have much staying-power. BRING BACK THE ROBO-PEN.

Originally, the Penguins were headed home for two games against the New Jersey Devils this week, but due to Covid-related issues the games have been postponed. The Penguins will practice in New York tomorrow before flying home. They will be off until Saturday when they return to New York to face the Islanders.

Thanks for reading! Let’s talk hockey on Twitter. Follow me @shireyirving.

All data via Natural Stat Trick, Evolving Hockey

 

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