Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
I’ll stop short of saying that this was a great game by the Washington Capitals, but it was a very good game. It was Washington who walked away 4-1 winners on Friday night vs the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Once again we’ll show you the advanced stats here. The stats in my opinion won’t show you how effective the Caps were tonight, but hopefully you’ll still get some entertainment from them.
Shot attempts for the game ended 59-56 in favor of the Penguins. While 5v5 it ended 43-40 in Washington’s favor.
A pretty up and down game when it comes to possession. I made note several times how Washington needed to come out of the gates stronger. They did just that against the Penguins.
Pittsburgh finished the game with 20 scoring chances for, not a great number for the Capitals defense but the Capitals ended up with 29 chances for. The Capitals also had 8 high danger attempts for while Pittsburgh had 7 high danger attempts.
A lot of that expected goals for the Capitals came on the power play. While 5v5 the Capitals had a rating of 2.08. The Penguins didn’t drop that much when switching to 5v5, they only had a 1.44 expected goals for when 5v5.
The Capitals second (or first line, however you want to look at it) of Stephenson-Backstrom-Oshie had a good game in possession, all having high Corsi%. They also had good scoring chance for%. Backstrom and Stephenson were 80% with 12 chances for and 3 against, Oshie was 76.92, 10 chances for 3 against.
There’s no way around it, special teams were HUGE on Friday night. The Capitals power play is starting to click on home ice as they were 2/5 vs the Penguins. The penalty kill came up big late. Washington killed off all four Penguins power plays and while holding on to a one goal lead early in the third period they had to kill two penalties. They successfully did that and that was the game, as the Caps added an insurance goal late in the third and capped it off with an empty netter.
Just a couple of faceoff notes to mention. Jay Beagle was exceptional, SHOCKING, helping the Capitals win the night at the dot, he was 13 of 17. The Capitals as a team won 57% of the draws winning 34 of 60 puck drops.
Nicklas Backstrom was very good as well, he was 7 of 11 for the night.
A good win and a good rebound game from the Capitals. Friday night started a period for the Capitals where they play 9 games in 16 nights. They’ll be back on the ice Sunday night against the Oilers.
By CJ Witt
Stats were found at Natural Stat Trick, Hockey Stats.ca and MoneyPuck.com