Mar 6, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) scores a goal against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff (37) during the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday Skate: Looking For Rebound In Anaheim After Shark Attack

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.)

Scoring Chances
First Period
Second Period
Third Period
Penguins6 (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.

Chances Taken
Chances Created
James Neal336
Evgeni Malkin224 (2 PP)
Matt Niskanen224 (1 PP)
Sidney Crosby314
Jussi Jokinen213 (1 PP)
Chris Kunitz213 (1 PP)
Olli Maatta202 (1 PP)
Lee Stempniak011 (1 PP)
Tanner Glass011
Brandon Sutter101

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

After rookie goalie Jeff Zatkoff got the call in San Jose, Marc-Andre Fleury will be in the crease against the Ducks. Jonas Hiller figures to oppose for the home team.

Tags: Analysis Charting Chances Gameday Skate Pittsburgh Penguins

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