This one was wild from the start. In the end, the game came down to two Penguins goals that managed to cross the goal line, and two chances by the Caps, that didn’t. Here’s our deeper dive on the stats and numbers from the latest edition of Capitals-Penguins.
No surprise, this one was a heated affair. Tom Wilson, seeing the Pens for the first time this season, wasted no time in taking care of unfinished business with Jamie Oleksiak. As you may recall, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford called-out Wilson for not fighting Oleksiak in Game 3 of the playoffs last season. Wilson was smart, didn’t take the Penguins bait in the playoffs, and took care of business in a less-meaningful regular season game.
As for hockey, the Capitals lone goal came from Lars Eller in the middle frame. The Penguins would answer with two extremely dirty goals, also in the second period, for the 2-1 win.
The Capitals returned to basic lines used in recent games, since T.J. Oshie returned and Christian Djoos went down with an injury.
Scratches: Andre Burakovsky, Chandler Stephenson and Tyler Lewington.
After a heated but scoreless opening frame, Lars Eller would break the seal with his first goal in 12 games to give the Caps a 1-0 lead. The Pens would answer with a crazy goal from Sidney Crosby, bouncing off his stick, and then his skate, and a dirty goal down low from Bryan Rust, all in the second period, and would hang on for the 2-1 win. See our game recap here for goals.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (POSSESSION)
The Capitals led in shot attempts 15-13 and the Penguins led in shots on goal (SOG) 8-7 after 20 minutes of play. The Capitals out-attempted the Penguins 15-14 with the Penguins leading 13-10 in SOG for the middle frame. The Capitals would out-attempt the Penguins 16-11 and led 14-8 in SOG in the final frame.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (DIFFERENTIAL)
SHOT ATTEMPTS (LOCATION)
Braden Holtby stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced for a .933 save percentage. Murray stopped 31 of 32 shots he faced for a .969 save percentage.
Pittsburgh entered the game 9th in the league on the power play (22.8%) and 10th in the league on the penalty kill (82.1%). The Capitals entered the game with the leagues 5th-best power play (26.3%) and the leagues 27th ranked penalty kill (75.2%).
In the game, the Penguins went 1 for 4 on the power play. The Capitals were 0 for 5 on the man advantage.
The Penguins entered the game with the league’s 18th-best faceoff winning percentage at 49.8%. The Capitals entered the game with the league’s 23rd-best faceoff winning percentage at 48.1%.
For the game, the Penguins smoked the Capitals at the dot, winning 61-39%. Nicklas Backstrom was 12 of 19, Lars Eller was 3 for 14, Smith-Pelly was 0 for 1, Nic Dowd was 2 for 3, T.J. Oshie was 1 for 6 and Evgeny Kuznetsov was 4 for 13.
Travis Boyd was once again holder of low ice time.