The Pittsburgh Penguins led after two periods despite being on the wrong end of most shot attempts, scoring chances, and high-danger scoring chances. One did not need to look up the advanced stats on NaturalStatTrick.com to know the Penguins bacon was saved by backup goalie Tristan Jarry. However, the Penguins bacon was cooked by a pair of penalties in the final four minutes. Tampa Bay beat the Penguins 3-2 Wednesday at Amelia Arena.
Tampa Bay was able to fire 48 shots towards Jarry. The Penguins final flurry of activity closed the advanced stats gap, but Tampa Bay was still on top. The final tally was 26-23 in scoring chances and the 10-8 in high danger chances.
The Penguins had the final five high-danger chances, including defenseman Kris Letang’s shot which probably crossed the goal line as time expired, but camera angles could not conclusively prove that it did.
“Yeah, I thought it might be (in). That might be wishful thinking. There’s gotta be someway they can definitely tell. I mean they have to know for sure,” said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. “There are different angles that we don’t get to see, but it looks like it’s in (Andrei Vaselivski)’s webbing, and for a split second it looked like his webbing was over the line based on it being in his glove.”
“But I think there’s some technology out there that can tell you if it’s over the line or not.”
Or not. But it was close if not over the line.
“We were right there. On back to back nights, we get a lead,” said Crosby. “Unfortunately, we had to kill all of those penalties. I don’t know if we deserved all of those, but the shots were 45-(39). It’s not like they dominated. They didn’t have the puck that much more than we did. You’d think we would have drawn a few more (penalties).”
Tactically, the Penguins showed the simplicity which has served them well with a decimated lineup, but the Penguins sustained offensive pressure in the second period was primarily the result of patient puck possession, not necessarily “smart plays.”