Penguins Lead Capitals 2-1: First Period Stats

The Capitals would open the scoring with a power play goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov (2) at 5:18 of the first frame. The Penguins tied the game with a goal from Bryan Rust (4) at 10:29 of the first period. The Penguins quickly took their first lead 32 seconds later with a goal from Brandon Tanev at 11:01 of the middle frame. The period would end with the Penguins leading 2-1.



Evgeny Kuznetsov

Bryan Rust

Brandon Tanev

(Stats from

(Stats from Natural Stat Trick)

(Stats from

Earlier this week we posted a breakdown of stats for each Capitals defenseman (full post here). A component to of the analysis looked at the Capitals possession and shot metrics for each of the Capitals defenseman.

The following evaluation metric captures on-ice goal differentials (GF – yellow, GA – green), the ‘scoring chances for’ percentage (Scf% – blue) and the ‘expected goals’ percentage (xGF% – orange) for each of the Capitals defenders. [Click to enlarge]

The glaring issue is fairly evident. Justin Schultz is the only Capitals defenseman above the 50% (even) mark in scoring chances and expected goals. This is further verified by the team’s overall possession and expected goals percentages that currently rank in the bottom fifth of the league.


Also earlier this week we posted an analysis comparing the Capitals first six games versus their last six games (full article here.)

Through the first six games of the season, the Caps took a 61.54% share of goals scored during five on five play, ultimately meaning they were outscoring their competition by a decent margin. Conversely, through the last six games, the Capitals have fallen quite short of that mark, scoring only 45.45% of the goals at five on five play. This is a huge and simple difference.

One of the most notable trends here is the difference in ‘high danger chances for’ and ‘high danger goals for’. Interestingly enough, the Capitals weren’t very good at suppressing ‘high danger chances against’ in the first six games, but have done a much better job at producing more high danger chances than allowed in the last six.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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