Hang on to your hats (literally) this was about as wild a game as we've seen. High scoring! Goals everywhere! Excitement! This looked more like NHL in 1986 rather than 2016, but hey, we'll take it, especially since all is well that ends well.
Lines and Pairings
We're back and we're ready to go. Let's Go Pens! pic.twitter.com/AElfz7T83Q— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 2, 2016
The big story of the night was Eric Fehr leaving halfway through the second half of the second period with a leg injury and he would not return. The Pens managed this by sliding Matt Cullen up to the 3rd line and then using a hodge-podge on the 4th line.
Great Start. The Pens were on fire early, as we'll see below. They roared out the gates and controlled the play early, scoring 2 goals before Ottawa even managed a shot on goal. Slow starts had plagued Pittsburgh earlier under Mike Sullivan, but this time it looked like the Senators were still on all star break.
Sidney MF Crosby. After that fast start disappeared, the Pens found themselves down 4-3 on the scoreboard. Luckily, the captain would take over scoring a natural hat-trick to push the Pens up 6-4 and in control of the game. Crosby's early season struggles seem well in the past at this point.
Home cooking. Pens are now on a 5 game winning streak at Consol, and a 9 game points streak (7-0-2). They haven't been good on the road this season (with just a 10-10-3 record) so it has been imperative to play well at home, and Pittsburgh has sent the fans home happy lately.
Powerful power play. Last night marks the 4th game in a row the Pens have a PP goal (it's 6 for 16 for 37.5% over this stretch) and they have a PP goal in 9 of the previous 10 home games. With all the skill Pittsburgh can ice on their man advantage, they need to take advantage of it, especially with goals at even-strength such a premium generally in today's NHL. This PP - which is now up to 8th league-wide on the season and above 20% - needs to continue to win games for the team.
Marc-Andre. Certainly the Pens early-season MVP, Marc-Andre Fleury had an off-night. After mis-playing the puck on Ottawa's first goal of the game, Fleury seemed to have some confidence rattled. He was fighting the puck. He wasn't seeing a ton of shots to regain the feel of the puck very quickly.
Faceoffs. Evgeni Malkin was only 24% on the night. Fehr was just 27% before leaving for injury. The team overall was 42%. It didn't seem to affect puck possession all that much but Ottawa did well
|Goals||5 (Stone, Wideman, Pageau, Ceci, Dziurzynski)
||6 (Cullen, Letang, Kunitz, Crosby, Crosby, Crosby)
|Shots on Goal||23||44
|5v5 Corsi For Percentage||32.9%||67.1%|
Even Strength Shot Attempts
It doesn't even look from these charts that these two teams are in the same league. The Pens with shots everywhere, goals from pretty much right in front at 5v5.
Power Play Shot Attempts
Wooooo that's a pretty, pretty picture. The Pens power play is very clearly running through Crosby at the right side these days. It's been simple but very effective. And, as always with Sidney Crosby, key in on him too much and he'll be able to make that cross-ice pass to Phil Kessel or find Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang back in space to get a fresh look.
Shot attempt charts provided by War on Ice.
A refresher of the key for these charts:
In the previous post here using these charts for the first time, I mentioned how it factors in things like shot quality. A more detailed list of what factors into that shot quality is below:
Expected Goals map provided by Don't Tell Me About Heart.
Head-to-Head Shot Attempts
OTT-PIT: Crosby line fantastic (duh) pic.twitter.com/LxleGvsdKu— Muneeb Alam (@muneebalamcu) February 3, 2016
A basic description on how to read these charts: Cross reference a player from each team, and that box shows how many shot attempts each team had while those two players shared ice time. The + and - are from the home team's perspective.
For a refresher on how to read these charts, a write-up with descriptions of what colors mean, which lines to read, and more: H2H Corsi Chart Primer
Individual Shot Attempts
Individual Shot Attempts Charts via War on Ice