Due to the quick turnaround from Thursday’s 5-3 loss in San Jose to Friday night’s tilt at league-leading Anaheim, today’s Gameday Skate will double as your Pittsburgh Penguins Charting Chances report.
We deem a scoring chance to be whenever a team directs a shot cleanly toward the net from the zone often referred to as the “house” or “home plate” by hockey coaches. Take a look at the general area here.
To be a scoring chance, a shot from that area has to get through without getting blocked, unless the defender is deliberately covering for his goaltender. I’m generous with the “house” area when a quick pass precedes the shot, as the goalie and defenders will likely be out of position in those cases. Tipped shots aren’t counted unless it’s an obvious set play. (Stick tap to the Score’s Thomas Drance for the guidelines.)
|Penguins||6 (1 PP)||5 (1 PP)||6 (2 PP)||17 (4 PP)|
|Sharks||9 (4 PP)||7 (1 PP)||9 (4 PP)||25 (9 PP)|
An interesting aspect of Thursday night is that the Sharks had a mere 16-13 edge in even-strength opportunities. San Jose did much of its work during its four power plays, generating nine good looks even though it came up empty scoring-wise. The Sharks’ PP unit looked much better than its No. 20 ranking.
|Evgeni Malkin||2||2||4 (2 PP)|
|Matt Niskanen||2||2||4 (1 PP)|
|Jussi Jokinen||2||1||3 (1 PP)|
|Chris Kunitz||2||1||3 (1 PP)|
|Olli Maatta||2||0||2 (1 PP)|
|Lee Stempniak||0||1||1 (1 PP)|
As the numbers reveal, James Neal enjoyed a productive game, taking part in six even-strength chances. Despite Sidney Crosby‘s defensive liabilities, he was the Penguins’ second-best offensive creator during 5-on-5 play.
Also, we’ve only been keeping these stats for three games, but getting eight of the Pens’ 12 forwards on the chart is a new high. The additions of Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak noticeably lengthened the lineup last night, and it led to more opportunities for the bottom six. Absent from the chart? First-line right winger Brian Gibbons.
Tonight’s Game: Penguins (41-17-4, 86 points – 1st Metropolitan) vs. Ducks (43-14-6, 92 points – 1st Pacific) at Anaheim’s Honda Center
Faceoff: 10 p.m. ET
TV: Root Sports Pittsburgh
Radio: 105.9 The X