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Breaking Down the Numbers: Penguins vs. Rangers

The Rangers visited the Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Thursday evening and it was a good win for Pittsburgh.

Matt Kincaid/Getty Images

The Penguins beat the Rangers, and it was a whole lot of fun. We haven't been able to say that too much lately. Oh and Henrik Lundqvist is a gigantic baby.

Lines and Pairings



Evgeni Malkin is the greatest.

King Pissbaby. The Penguins got to Henrik Lundqvist, and didn't even have to do it forcefully.

Thankfully, Ryan McDonagh is an idiot and ran his own goalie, and the Oscar-nominated goalie wasn't happy that the referee decided he was fine because the puck left the zone. Well, he didn't agree. Way to show everyone up.

Lundqvist also failed to get a call on this lol.

From there on, he was like a poker player on tilt, and the Penguins needed to capitalize before the end of the period to at least tie it. But they did much better than that. Three goals in rapid-fire succession.  He was chased from the net to start the third period, what a sight to see.

Marc-Andre Fleury had some words about this after the game, and he is my hero.

It's about time someone said it. We've known for so long that Henrik Lundqvist is a gigantic baby, but this seals it. Pissbaby of the Year, 2016. /pounds gavel.


Fantastic night for Phil Kessel. He was all over the place, and was nice to see him get his 20th goal on the season, albeit an empty netter.

Beautiful defensive work in the third period. With a 3-1 lead in their pocket, and a 2-0 lead blown just two nights prior, seeing them shut down the Rangers and really marginalize any big scoring chances they had in the third was great.

Tanner Glass. He played more ice time in the third period than the player that the Rangers just traded two 2nd-round picks and a prospect for (Eric Staal). Never change, Alain Vigneault.

Mike Sullivan troll game. During his post-game presser, he was asked about matchups. Specifically, the matchup that Vigneault had wanted to get the last time the two teams played, with Derick Brassard matching against Sidney Crosby. Sullivan kinda smiled, and said something to the effect of "you know, sometimes, both coaches want the same matchup. And tonight I think it worked out for us."


Allowing the first goal. After a fairly back and forth first 30-or-so minutes of the game, the Rangers broke in and scored and it felt like a bad dream, where the Rangers go ahead, trap it all to hell, and the Penguins are frustrated into a loss. NOT THIS TIME.

Kevin Porter. Say what you will about his play or deserving a spot, but it's never good to see a guy get injured.


Rangers Penguins
Goals 1 (Kreider) 4 (Crosby, Malkin, Hornqvist, Kessel)
Shots on Goal 28 26
5v5 Corsi For Percentage 57.1% 42.9%


That second period onslaught. Amazing.

Even Strength Shot Attempts

This feels like the exact opposite of how the Penguins looked under Mike Johnston. They would win the shot attempts numbers battle, but lacked shot quality and substantial scoring chances. Being outshot is fine, especially when you are channeling the good chances that you're getting into that home-plate area like the Penguins did last night.

Power Play Shot Attempts

Really good PK work for the Penguins against a potent Rangers PP unit. They move the puck so well, and Pittsburgh did a good chance of clearing the zone repeatedly.

Shot attempt charts provided by War on Ice.

Expected Goals

Really good work by Pittsburgh to get t that net-front area, considering that the Rangers generally try and block everything out and shut everything down through that middle channel of ice.  Really few offensive quality chances for the Rangers, too. Fleury came up big when needed, after giving up the fairly soft goal.

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

Not a great night for any specific Penguins against certain lines or pairings. Dan Boyle and Dylan Mcilrath were positive against every single Pittsburgh player except for Carl Hagelin.

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

Not a banner night for any specific Penguins or lines/pairings, save for the Dream Line of Malkin, Hagelin, and Kessel. LOL Dan Girardi.

Individual Shot Attempts Charts via War on Ice

Same story here. Pens protected the house in the third, which helped the Rangers a bit.

Ice-time vs. Possession Charts via Sean Tierney

Line-by-Line Shot Attempts

Line-by-line data via Hockey Stats

The Penguins have the night off this evening, before two mid-day (but not necessarily afternoon, depending on your definition) games, back-to-back. They will host the Calgary Flames on Saturday at 3 pm ET, and from there they will head to New Jersey for a bizarre 5 pm ET start.

The Calgary game will be the last non-Metropolitan division game for a while, as the Penguins schedule for the next 10 games is as follows:

@ Devils
@ Islanders
@ Blue Jackets
@ Rangers
@ Flyers

Get busy living or get busy dying.