In some ways, after the first period a lot of troubles and opportunities were lost. The Pens out-shot the Sens 16-7 in the first. 5-on-5 Corsi events were 26-7. 5v5 scoring chances were 6-2 per Natural Stat Trick. High danger scoring chances were 5-1.
This would pretty much continue all night as Pittsburgh had a 70% Corsi on the night (70-29), they were up 29-11 in scoring chances and 14-5 in HDSC. On the surface, probably not a game this team should lose with 36 total shots on goal and they only end up with one goal.
In a lot of ways, maximum credit has to go to Craig Anderson. He stood tall all night long, but especially early found a way to keep the Pens off the board.
Ottawa would strike 4:24 into the game to put the Pens behind from the beginning. Thomas Chabot was at the point and put a strong shot on goal, and there was enough traffic that Casey DeSmith could never get a good read on the play.
But early in the second, Jean-Sebastien Dea made a strong individual effort to get on the board.
The game continued on. The refs seemed to struggle. Sidney Crosby got elbowed in the head twice, the Pens got one power play out of it though. Kris Letang’s emotions got the best of him all night long after he got a forearm to the face that knocked his visor into his face and bloodied him.
Late in the game Jack Johnson was on the doorstep of the goal, had a chance to shoot a rebound but somehow Anderson stopped him. But the chances were about endless - Jake Guentzel hit the post. Crosby had a flurry of chances in the 1st that Anderson stopped.
And then overtime happened.
Guentzel was slow to get to the bench and then Evgeni Malkin got to the center of the ice and played the puck. Classic too many men.
Ottawa would end the game on a 4v3 power play soon after. Great pass from Mark Stone, DeSmith was visibly upset because he read the play and got over in time, but he just wasn’t big enough or out far enough for the puck to go over his shoulder. And that would be it.
- Letang seemed a bit emotional and out of control after getting hit in the head early. He went to the box twice in the 3rd period (once an even up call with Brady Tkachuk). But while Letang was on the ice at 5v5 Corsi events were 43-11 Pittsburgh. It was at once a good game for the process and yet an unsettled game.
- Is Marcus Pettersson the Jack whisperer? (No, I won’t say Johnson there). Pettersson’s corsi events were 15-0 on the night, Johnson’s were 18-3. Great night for the Pens third pair no matter how you slice it.
- Great job by Dea to make something happen on the rush. Weird to see the Pens 4th line right winger make something happen on his own. Hadn’t seen too much of that. Dea is a good skater and he didn’t get much ice time (6:37 total) and only had the one shot on goal but Dea definitely showed in his first game back in Pittsburgh had demonstrated some tangible evidence he should be a part of the picture in the future. His Corsi on the night was 12-0, which Ottawa’s bottom six and whole team got caved in. But a good sign nonetheless.
Tough one for the Pens, in a perfect world they should have played well enough to get the win. Gotta tip your cap to Anderson for standing strong. The Pens were a little undisciplined whether it was a sloppy line change or emotions too hot. So it only added up to one point on the night.
The road trip continues on Monday with a game on Long Island. There’s a bit to build on with the process they showed, so hopefully that can carry over again.