The Penguins get a couple power plays which only results in zone time and not many good scoring chances.
Pretty low-key period, about the only meaningful thing was the Penguins tribute video for a very appreciative Jeff Zatkoff who smiled and waived graciously to the crowd from the bench.
Let’s hear it for Mr. Game 1! pic.twitter.com/aBbtqvvbg1— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 17, 2016
Penguins continue to play well, but Peter Budaj - though awkward at times flopping around in the net - is able to do the most important thing and keep the puck out of it. Shots up to 30-14 through 40 minutes of play with goals still 0-0.
Slow game so here's a Sidney Crosby being awesome GIF.
Is #SlowMoFriday a thing? pic.twitter.com/BqkpkPze4J— NHL (@NHL) December 17, 2016
Tough turn of events for the Pens, Trevor Daley doesn't return to the bench for the 3rd period and then 1:47 into the 3rd, Brian Dumoulin takes a puck off the visor area and (wisely) is pulled off the ice for further attention. But, honestly for 20 minutes that's not bad for the endurance of the defensemen remaining, though it does stink for the talent level to have the Pens 3 top dmen (including Letang) all out.
Dumoulin misses 11 minutes and valiantly returns sporting a swollen cheek. Despite the 37-22 shot advantage with 9:22 remaining in the game, the NBC Sports folks displayed that scoring chances were just 12-9 in favor of the Pens.
And still no score through regulation.
The game ends 1-0 in favor of the Kings on some bad luck. Phil Kessel streaks down the right side for his patented shot but the stick breaks. LA goes the other way on a 3-on-1 and Tyler Toffoli scores his 8th goal of the season throwing a shot by Matt Murray . Dagger
- After the 2nd PP unit scored two goals last game, a bit surprising that coach Mike Sullivan double-shifted his 1st grouping in the first period. I mean, they are the stars and best players on the team, so it's probably not THAT surprising, but certainly interesting to see them load up with the big boys
- The Penguins got the game's first four power play's as well, and were unable to crack the scoreboard. That's one major missed opportunity to change the course of the game.
- Zone exits without Kris Letang are going to be a major issue moving forward. The team struggled early and often to make clean passes out of their own end, that's one area that Letang absolutely crushes, in terms of effectiveness as well as just playing 26+ minutes a night and the sheer volume of it.
- On one hand, the Kings are #1 in the league in shots against with just 25 per game, and Pittsburgh blew past that in under two periods, that's a good thing. On the other hand, Budaj was good but to not score before the defensive injuries was unfortunate.
- Pittsburgh scored 4+ goals in all 7 previous games (all wins). Tonight, obviously, was a different story getting shutout.
- LA played last night in Detroit and it sure showed. Didn't look all that energetic out there, even though defensively it seemed like they limited Pittsburgh's rush and transition game with their size and defensive structure. That the Pens couldn't take advantage of that is another missed opportunity. Sensing a trend?
- Everything had been breaking the Pens way, cruel that luck turned against them with a broken stick from Kessel giving LAK a wonderful chance to end it, which they finally did.
Quick turnaround for the Pens, as they travel to Toronto tonight for a Hockey Night in Canada matchup and likely the first game for Marc-Andre Fleury since December 5th.