In an ideal world, the Pens return home from a 6 game road trip, get three days off, and win big to really set the mood heading into the weekend.
Of course, nothing about this world is ideal, but the Penguins did do enough to win this one, even if they didn’t.
The Pens controlled the bulk of the play and did well to get to the netfront offensively, controlling 53.85% of the 5v5 shot attempts and 58.82% of the 5v5 scoring chances (20-14), but Carter Hart was really good all night.
With the Caps and Islanders losing in regulation to the Sabres and Bruins respectively, not getting two points here feels a bit like a missed opportunity.
But sitting just a point back from the Islanders for 2nd place and 3 back from the Caps (with a game in hand), it’s hard to get too jammed up even if the 3 game winning streak came to an end.
They’ve taken 9 points from the last 14 possible and you take that any day of the week, particularly with the way the top 6 played all night.
Any other game and it’s probably a different result and that’s fine heading to Buffalo for two straight.
Debut City for Jeff Carter, centering the 2nd line with McCann and Zucker. and effectively bumping Zohorna from the lineup. Mark Jankowski made his way back into the fray as well instead of the injured Freddy G as the lone changes to the lineup that thumped the Devils on Sunday. Jarry between the pipes again.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 15, 2021
Hart would go versus Jarry. Wade Allison making his NHL debut.
projected Flyers lines
— LinesLinesLines (@CcCMiddleton) April 15, 2021
Flyers were buzzing to start, getting the first real chance of the game on a Sanheim point shot that McCann deflected on its way in. Jarry was up to the task.
Didn’t take long, just two shifts, before Jeff Carter almost made his presence known when Carter Hart vomited on himself and turned the puck over behind the net. The Good Carter just couldn’t steer home the wraparound.
Just 2 shots on goal in the first 7 or so minutes, both in the Flyers favor.
But the Pens would get their chance at racking up some SOGs when Farabee tripped up McCann 8:25 into the game, of which they did not take advantage.
Still no shots on goal for the Pens with 7:32 remaining, when Jarry got called for tripping Giroux driving the net. No harm, no foul and if you had Brian Dumoulin getting the Pens first shot on goal on a breakaway at the end of the PP as your Prop Of The Night, come collect your winnings you whole ass degenerate.
Got hooked in the process, sending the Pens back to the peep. Got some looks. No dice though and it would be all about inertia, guiding us straight into the intermission.
Just 8 shots on goal in all situations in the first, with 5 coming from the Flyers. Flyers had a 4-2 edge at 5v5 with attempts at 9-8. Pens did double up the Flyers 4-2 in scoring chances, but with limited volume, there wasn’t much there for anything else.
Can say with some degree of certainty though that the ice was an absolute mess. Puck was jumping around on everyone on both sides and more than a handful of guys went down for virtually no other reason besides Garbage Ice.
Flyers opened the period up with a 2v1 that they made a mess out of with a little help from a backchecking Brian Dumoulin.
But once again, it was Jeff Carter providing the Penguins with a 10 bell chance after just smoking Justin Braun and nearly beating Hart with a power move, but the Flyers netminder turned it aside with a pad save.
Followed it up with another nice look sneaking down the left wing, but just missed the net with it. Just looked like he could score every time the puck ended up on his stick.
But he wouldn’t be the one to open the scoring.
PIT – 5:04 – Crosby; A: Letang, Dumoulin, Tags – 1-0
That fell to the Captain with a little help from Little Tags.
Pens looked hemmed in and Dumo had lost his stick. Up stepped 87 to hand his off as the puck got chipped in behind the net. Letang pursued and Guentzel read the D activated to give an option driving the net for a shot.
As soon as it got turned over to Dumoulin, he hit Letang bombing out from behind the net to start the rush.
Crosby here sees the 2v1 coming and makes a bee line to the bench to get a new stick to get back into the play.
Flyers look like they think they have this all under control, but no one has an eye on 87 coming soaring in to bang that bad boy home.
Big Boy Assist from Yung Tags. What a play. Sid was just beaming after. Rarely see 87 smile like this in the middle of a game.
Give him the assist pic.twitter.com/2Z6jAjcwIa
— geoff, cap broker (@geoffwithano) April 16, 2021
Crosby and Carter continued to put on an absolute show. Guentzel was robbed on a 2v1 midway through the period, too.
On Jake’s next shift, he got rung up for hooking in the offensive zone with 7:51 left to give the Flyers their second PP chance of the night. Huge pad save from Jarry right off the bat on that Wade guy.
Killed city after that.
Then some chaos or whatever. The beautiful game, crab rangoons, things of that nature.
Second period shots rested 16-13 in the Pens favor in all situations. Pens also controlled 20 of the 34 5v5 shot attempts.
The Penguins with Jeff Carter on the ice at 5v5 thru two periods:
10 shot attempts for
3 shot attempts against
71% expected goals share
Individually, he's had 3 scoring chances.
— Danny (@shireyirving) April 16, 2021
In much the same way as they opened the previous two periods, it was the Flyers coming out of the locker room…flying.
PHI –1:24 – Voracek; A: N/A – 1-1
Tough puck luck here. The Pens looked like they were maybe going to get trapped in deep in the offensive zone, but managed to get back and set up defensively.
As the Flyers worked it around the wall, the Pens just really couldn’t get it off of the wall and out of the zone, all culminating with Myers trying to get it on net only for it to get blocked and end up on Voracek’s stick.
Seas parted and that’s all he needed to beat Jarry between the wickets.
Crosby line looked determined to get it right back on their next shift, but just couldn’t find twine behind Hart and it really seemed like the Penguins were starting to turn the screw from that point on.
Carter had another chance. ZAR just missed the net on a 2v1 with ERod. Blueger almost buried a 1T from where Letang clinched the 2016 Cup. The boys were vibing.
With just over 7 to play, ZAR and ERod got another 2v1, but Hart made an unconscious blocker save to keep his team in it.
And with 2:52 left in the period, in a 1-1 game, Dumoulin activated down the wall, spun Konecny, and drew a holding penalty as he drove down into the corner, but some great penalty killing from the Flyers saved the day to get a split of the points.
End-to-end stuff to open the extra frame. Flyers had a 2v1. Pens too. Guentzel rang one off the iron. Zucker rang one off Hart’s mask. Pure pandemonium.
But with 1:57 left in OT, Crosby got his stick in Couturier’s legs and tripped him up in the neutral zone. Absolute hero shit from the PK and Jarry though and off the the skills competition we would go.
Guentzel and Giroux would bat lead off for their respective teams and both would find the back of the net. Jake with a shifty little move to open up Hart’s legs to slip it home on the backhand and Giroux with a move so nasty it won an award at the Player Haters Ball.
Crosby stepped out for Round 2, but Hart was up to the task with a glove save. Opened the door for Couturier to put on an absolute show, making Giroux’s look like child’s play.
Do or die for Letang and it was Hart choosing death.
- Let’s talk about my father Jeff Carter first. Played just under 18 minutes in his debut, registered 2 shots, 1 hit, and won 69% of his faceoffs in all situations. At 5v5, he had 2 shots on goal on 4 attempts, and 4 scoring chances (2 high danger). He was an absolute horse all game. In 13:52 of 5v5 play, the Penguins controlled shot attempts 13-10, 51.19% of the expected goals, and 7-4 scoring chances while Carter was on the ice.
- Jared McCann was a shot machine at 5s in this too. Six on goal on 7 attempts with 2 scoring chances (1 high danger) and 7 SOG in total in all situations.
- Crosby, too, was a shot machine. At 5v5, he had 4 on goal on 6 attempts (5 SOG in all situations) to go along with 3 scoring chances, two of which were high danger. His line, in 16:25 of 5v5 play, controlled 64% of the shot attempts (16-9), doubled up the Flyers 10-5 in shots on goal and 8-4 in scoring chances, and owned a 56.14% share of expected goals. Dominant.
- Both goalies were great. Jarry saved 1.66 goals above expectation in all situations, including 11 high danger saves on 12 HD shots. Hart with 1.33 goals saved above expectation, stopping 8 high danger shots out of 9.
- If there’s a negative to find, it’s that Jankowski came back into the lineup and got smoked. That line with Sceviour and Lafferty played just 5:48 together at 5v5 and were the only line with sub-50% shares of events. Got outshot 6-1 (8-4 in attempts) and controlled just 9.07% of the expected goals. Probably has to be Zohorna time this weekend again.
- All data and shot chart via Natural Stat Trick
Back-to-back 3 PM Saturday and Sunday games in Buffalo. Tough break for Rez and the Weekend Gameday.
keep remembering I have to write two posts about fucking Buffalo this weekend might walk into traffic
— REZ (jon bernthal’s podcast co-host) (@ReZhockeytweets) April 15, 2021
Have a Friday, friends. Go Pens.