In one of the most exciting games this season, the Penguins showed that they mean business and pulled out a tough victory in Washington.
In one of the Penguins best games so far this season, and arguably one of the most intense games in the league so far this year, the Pens stepped up in a big way. Pulling out a one goal victory over the rival Capitals, the Penguins showed up and made plays all over the ice, including a Pettersson dive into the crease that probably saved the game. With games like these, there are always a couple of huge stats that shape the way it goes, here are three of them.
Of course, anyone that watched that game saw Matt Murray step up to the plate in a way that few expected. The 24 year-old stopped 31 of 32 shots in a magnificent effort, and put the Pens on his back in many key situations throughout the game. The Capitals are third in the League in goals per game, but that did not scare Matt Murray. This was only his second game back since mid-november, and he made it a point to show that he is back to 100 percent.
Power Play Chances
While it was a low scoring game, and there was only one power play goal, it was a big one, and something that the Capitals were unable to do. They had five opportunities, and each time the Penguins were able to shut them down, and was ultimately the key to the game, and the reason they were able to escape with the victory. Also, how about the power play goal by the Penguins, it felt like a classic type of goal for the Pens, a goal that consisted of a Crosby goal assisted by Letang and Malkin. That felt good.
Lastly, it is important to note the sloppy play of the Capitals that opened up many of the Penguins’ opportunities. The Capitals had 15 giveaways, and it definitely provided the Penguins with the ability to pull this one out. The Caps put themselves in some bad situations, and the Penguins made sure to make them pay.
Overall, this game was the exact definition of a statement game, and something that the Penguins will look to build some momentum off of. The Penguins have given themselves a great opportunity, and while this was their biggest win of the season, they have to keep looking forward. And if we have learned anything from the past, it is that the Pens will be in good shape, this win over the Caps shows that.