Penguins at Panthers - What Went Wrong?

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Penguins suffered their first loss of the season and their perfect Penalty Kill unit gave up their first of the year as well. So let's take a look at the goals and see if we can find out what went wrong.

Over at The Pens Nation they have recently been breaking down the games by individually examining the game and placing individual credit for successes and failures on the players that were actually responsible for the play, rather than the generalized Plus/Minus that occurs simply from being on the ice. You can see their Game 1, Game 2, and Game 3 breakdowns.

They don't have one posted yet for the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 loss to the Florida Panthers last night, so I figured I would go ahead and give it a look.

1st Goal - Brad Boyes (Tomas Fleischmann)

The play began with Sidney Crosby winning the faceoff and the puck dropped back to Olli Maatta. Maatta sent a pass hard up ice, too hard to be readily controllable, and it half bounced half chipped from Chris Kunitz back over to Crosby. Fleischmann picked Crosby's pocket and sent it to a wide open Boyes, who ripped it past an attempted Maatta screen and beat Jeff Zatkoff top shelf glove side. Zatkoff could have been cheating back a bit too deep into his crease, but ultimately its a play that the Pens as a team just plain got beat by skilled Florida forwards.

Minus: Maatta, Kunitz, Crosby, and Maatta

2nd Goal - Evgeni Malkin (Beau Bennett)

Not to be outdone in the capitalizing on turnovers department, Bennett intercepted a pass from Marcel Goc in the neutral zone, skated up ice and chipped it to Malkin, and they beat Jacob Markstrom on a 2-on-1 odd man rush.

Plus: Bennett and Malkin

3rd Goal - Kris Versteeg (Scott Gomez and Shawn Matthias)

With the rest of the team covering various Panthers and the D battling for the puck in the corner and behind the net, Brandon Sutter was the lone man in front protecting the crease. However, he was focused on the play behind the net and failed to realize Versteeg was wide open behind him. Gomez sent a pass from behind the net to the wide open Versteeg and ripped it past Zatkoff.

Minus: Sutter

4th Goal - Craig Adams (Tanner Glass and Joe Vitale)

Adams takes the puck away from the Panthers along the boards and chips it behind the net to Glass. Glass comes from behind the net with a pretty impressive wraparound for a 4th liner, which rebounds off Markstrom's pads. However, Adams was crashing to the net and managed to chip the puck towards the net and just managed to poke it between Markstrom's pads for the goal.

Plus: Glass and Adams

5th Goal - Power Play Jonathan Huberdeau (Versteeg and Fleischmann)

Paul Martin got whistled for Interference and just under 30 seconds later Joe Vitale adds to their woes by getting tagged for Tripping, giving the Panthers a minute and a half 5-on-3 chance. The Pens did their best with what they had to work with, but a shot by Versteeg that was saved by Zatkoff took an off bounce and rolled up off his shoulder, ultimately getting batted out of midair by Huberdeau.

Minus: Martin and Vitale

6th Goal - Power Play Aleksander Barkov

Still trying to kill the Vitale penalty after Martin was freed on the 5-on-3 goal, the Pens once again lose out to a strange bounce. Scuderi chips the puck behind the net directly to a waiting Barkov who tosses the puck in front of the net and it bounces in off Martin's leg.

Minus: Vitale, Scuderi, and Martin

7th Goal - Pascal Dupuis (Crosby)

Dupuis knocked Dmitriy Kulikov off the puck in the Panthers zone, allowing Crosby to get it and skate towards the net. Crosby then sends it back behind him to Dupuis who rips a shot that rolls up over Markstrom's shoulder and into the net.

Plus: Crosby and Dupuis

8th Goal - Fleischmann (Boyes and Barkov)

Florida continues to apply pressure with another sustained attack, with Fleischmann making a path the the net. He snaps off a shot, Zatkoff makes the save, but the rebound chips directly in front of the net, allowing Fleischmann another whack at it and he manages to score one the 2nd try. Defensively there wasn't really anything they did wrong this time, they just got beat by a talented Florida offense. The initial shot damaged Zatkoff's mask, as after the play he skated to the bench and they had to bring him his backup, so its possible that he was unable to get into position to stop the rebound because his damaged equipment was impeding his vision.

Minus: Zatkoff

9th Goal - Boyes (Barkov and Fleischmann)

This goal was not a Power Play, but it occurred just 1 second after Crosby was released from the box, so it might as well have been. The penalty Crosby took was pointless, he was trying to stick up for a teammate who got leveled by a completely clean hit, so his heart was in the right place, just not the timing. If the hit had been questionable, there are many better options to take a penalty trying to fight for his honor, but when trailing by 2 with just over 2 minutes left in the game sending the league's best player to the box is just a bad decision. The goal itself came from Barkov with the puck on the side of the net, so Scuderi lays prone on the ground, perhaps trying to get in the way, perhaps it was nap time. This makes Adams have to cheat more towards the middle of the crease since Scuderi took himself out of the play, and Zatkoff focused on the impending play from the left. Nobody realizes Boyes is wide open, as Barkov sends it to him and he scores on an open net as Zatkoff tries to dive over to make the save.

Minus: Crosby and Scuderi

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