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Breaking down the Penguins OT loss to the Avalanche

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Gabriel Landeskog and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Penguins by a score of 4-3 in OT last night. Let's take a look at how the play broke down so quickly for Colorado and how they won the game.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

At the start of OT, the Penguins were looking to win their third straight game to start the season.

They deployed their 3-man unit of Nick Bonino, Kris Letang, and Phil Kessel. The Avalanche rolled their unit of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Erik Johnson.

Entering the offensive zone, Gabriel Landeskog had good control of the puck and protected it well enough that none of the three Penguins on the ice attempted to challenge him for the puck. Erik Johnson streaking wide, and Nathan MacKinnon coming into the zone late is my guess as to why the Penguins were reluctant to challenge. Ultimately, I would pin this lack of a challenge on why the Penguins weren't able to keep this play from becoming a goal.

As Erik Johnson makes way towards the net, the Penguins again backed off of Landeskog, as MacKinnon comes into the picture on the left.

Landeskog takes the time and space that were available to him to feed the puck to MacKinnon, as Johnson has essentially been removed from the play.

Again the Penguins back off from the puck carrier, while Landeskog starts to move to the outside to make way towards the net.

As Landeskog gets closer towards the net, MacKinnon gets himself into a shooting position and puts what seems like a harmless shot on goal.

And here is where the bounces come into play. Kris Letang, in front of the net, uses his hand-eye coordination to try and break up the "shot" on his own. I loosely call it a "shot" because it was coming towards goal very slowly. Had Letang been able to fully deflect this shot, it's over and done with. But because he only got a piece of it and didn't keep it from getting further on goal, that changes things.

As the puck popped back up into the air, Landeskog was able to chip the puck over Fleury's glove and over his shoulder and into the net.

A closer look at the sequence of bounces and the double deflection show just how perfect these bounces had to be for them to go into the net.

What a remarkable deflection by Landeskog here. The level of hand-eye coordination this must take to be able to not only tip it, but direct it into the net is fascinating.

Even including the great re-direction, Marc-Andre Fleury was still almost able to get his shoulder on this puck. He wasn't and before you knew it, the game was over 22 seconds into the overtime period.

If I had to pinpoint the specific issue with this goal being allowed, I would put it on the lack of pressure on the puck carriers, but it's understandable why they didn't, given the speed on the ice for Colorado in a 3-on-3 situation. We've seen so many instances where teams are left with a 2-on-1 or a 3-on-1 in these situations because of speed and all of the open ice. I don't think they would have lacked the pressure if it were a 5-on-5 or even a 4-on-4 situation.

Regardless, the Penguins added another point to their standings total, and have come away from their first three games with 5 points out of a possible 6. No complaints about that from me.

The biggest takeaway from this breakdown for me is that using the Avs feed for my replay was a mistake. I used the Altitude Sports highlights, and their announcers are an unmitigated disaster, and this comes from someone who watches Root Sports for ~70 games per season. You would think the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.