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Breaking down the Numbers: Penguins vs. Red Wings

After being shut out by the Devils in Pittsburgh on Thursday, the Penguins headed to Detroit to square off with the Red Wings in a big game. You could say things went well for Pittsburgh.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Seven goals. The Penguins had a bad first period and were trailing 1-0, and then the Penguins settled in. A four-goal second period kicked things off, and they capped off the game with the touchdown in the third.

We've seen a steady climb since the team settled in under Mike Sullivan's first 10 or so games, but these last 10 games have been just a tremendous offensive force, starting to peak at the right time of year.

Lines and Pairings



Seven goals. Unbelievable really. Fantastic resiliency to start the second period on the gas pedal and never look back.

Even strength play. It's one thing to have your special teams unit keep you in a game, but another to dominate the game at 5v5.

Depth. The Penguins depth is allowing these injuries and lineup changes to just be a 'next man in' situation. Nick Bonino was a game-time decision yesterday, and if he hadn't been able to go, Oskar Sundqvist was ready. if Chris Kunitz can't go tonight, my suggestion would be:

  • move Beau Bennett up to Crosby's line
  • slide Eric Fehr from 4C to 4W
  • slot Oskar Sundqvist back in at 4C

Speed. I think it's underrated how many problems the speed of Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin create for opponents.

Phil's pass. My word. The pass on Hagelin's second goal was SOMETHING.


Slow start. The first period wasn't good, but the rest of the game negated the bad period.

Turnover. Just a flat-out brutal turnover in the first period that led to AA's goal.

Brian Dumoulin and Chris Kunitz. Injuries are always a downer in a game like this. Hopefully Dumoulin isn't banged up too badly. Derrick Pouliot will play in his spot tonight, and quotes coming out of the locker room after the game stated that Kunitz would be a game-time decision against the Rangers.


Red Wings Penguins
Goals 2 (Athanasiou, Green) 7 (Kunitz, Letang, Hagelin, Kessel, Fehr, Hagelin, Bonino)
Shots on Goal 23 41
5v5 Corsi For Percentage 40..3% 59.7%

Running Shot Attempts

Even Strength Shot Attempts

Holy smokes. This is just out of control.

Power Play Shot Attempts

This is great stuff too. Limiting the Red Wings to two shot attempts on the power play. One that missed the net, and the other that took more bounces than a pinball machine that resulted in a goal.

Shot attempt charts provided by War on Ice.

Expected Goals

Wow, wow, wow, Penguins. This is not even fair. Stop the fight.

A refresher of the key for these charts:

More information and description/analysis of Expected Goals can be found here on Hockey Graphs.

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

(Also coming soon.)

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

H2H Chart via Muneeb Alam from Japers' Rink

Individual Shot Attempts

Individual Shot Attempts Charts via War on Ice

That line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino, and Phil Kessel is something else. It opens an interesting debate of whether you want to keep that line together and let Malkin carry another line when he returns (if the Penguins are still playing.)

Ice-time vs. Possession Charts via Sean Tierney

Line-by-Line Shot Attempts

Line-by-line data via Hockey Stats

A seven-goal game is always a good way to respond to a terrible performance two days prior. Let's hope the Pens can keep it going tonight against the Rangers.