Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Statisfaction: Sens Crush Pens in Game 3



Welcome to Statisfaction, your daily dose of NHL-related numbers and factoids. Today we'll look at Ottawa's Game 3 rout of the Penguins, covering face-offs, Erik Karlsson, Sidney Crosby and a few other topics. Tonight's stats via Natural Stat Trick, Corsica Hockey and NHL.com

1. Malkin lost 10 of 11 face-offs in Game 3

Not good, Geno. In total the Penguins won just 20 of 57 draws on Wednesday. There's been a lot of talk from the analytics community about the gap between perceived and real importance of face-offs these days, but I mean, you lose that many you are asking for trouble. Particularly during the playoffs for a team like Pittsburgh which probably suffered in terms of getting matchups and bench flow with all those lost draws.

Crosby won 9 of 23 for the Pens, and the only Pittsburgh player to win half was Matt Cullen, who won five of ten.

Derick Brassard was 14 for 16 and Jean-Gabriel Pageau was 12 for 17 for the victorious Senators.

2. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped five of nine shots

Rough night for the Pens' netminder, who entered the game with a .931 save percentage and saw it drop to .924. Not all that bad, considering how horrible tonight's first period was for Fleury, though it really wasn't any fault of his. And it may cost him his starting job. Not surprisingly, everybody and their mother is calling for Matt Murray to get the start in Game 4. The 22-year-old stopped 19 of 20 shots and yes, he did guide the Pens to the Stanley Cup last season, but is one bad partial period enough for Mike Sullivan to sit Fleury down? What happens if you lose Game 4 with Murray in the net? Right back to Fleury?

No matter what happens, the fact that we're talking about a change (this is one of 7,000 articles that have popped up since the game ended) is absolutely crazy. Fleury has been an absolute god b the pipes for the Pens in the playoffs. It's crazy that 13 minutes of defensive lapses and bad bounces might send him to the bench.

3. Sidney Crosby Was a Minus-3 at Even Strength

Now there's something you don't see every day. Sid was on the ice for the second, fourth and fifth Ottawa goals. Crosby did chip in a power play goal in the third to make it 5-1. Since returning from his concussion in Game 5 of the Capitals series, Crosby has not been a little off his usual god-mode form. He is a minus-4 with four points. He was held pointless with four shots on goal in the first two games of the series.

4. Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot doing what they do

Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot were on the ice for Ottawa's last four goals. Karlsson has been on ice for 20 goals for and 8 against at even strength since the playoffs started. To bring that number more into perspective, Ottawa has scored 10 and given up 19 at even strength when Karlsson isn't on the ice. The Swede was averaging 28:55 of total ice time per game, but Guy Boucher was able to get him some rest on Wednesday. He skated 28 shifts and finished with 22:28 of total ice time. Karlsson has 14 points in 15 games in the playoffs, tops among all defenseman in the playoffs.

5. Craig Anderson has a .964 Save Percentage in the Conference Final

Craig Anderson has quietly been the Senators best player in the first three games of this series. Yes, the Sens have done a fantastic job of shutting down Pittsburgh's banged-up lineup with their swarming nuetral zone 1-3-1 cauldron, but Anderson has been there whenever Pittsburgh has found its way past the D. He has stopped 80 of 83 shots and has a 0.98 GAA.