Penguins Lead Capitals 4-3: Second Period Stats

The Capitals tied the game early in the middle frame with a goal from Jakub Vrana (4) at 3:26 of the second period. TJ Oshie (6) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (3) had the helpers. But the Penguins would quickly re-take the lead with a goal from Bryan Rust (5) at 6:44 of the middle frame and stretch their lead to 4-2 with a goal from Jake Guentzel at 10:44 of the second period. It was the Penguins first two-goal lead of the season. Nicklas Backstrom (7) would cut the Penguins lead to 4-3 at 17:49 with assists from Alex Ovechkin (8) and John Carlson (8). It was Backstrom’s 250th career goal in the NHL. The period would end with the Penguins leading 4-3.



Jakub Vrana

Bryan Rust

Jake Guentzel

Nicklas Backstrom

(Stats from

(Stats from Natural Stat Trick – 5v5)

(Stats from – 5v5)

Earlier this week we did 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 passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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