Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins came to town tonight as both teams were looking to continue on their strong play of late. The Pens, going 6-1-3 in their last ten, came in to face the goaltender who helped them to not one but two Stanley Cups. Matt Murray, who’s seen a resurgence in play over the past seven games, faced his former team for the first time, so all eyes were on the goaltender to see if he could succeed under the pressure.
While it took a while for the scoring to get started, the Sens came out flying in the first and had a number of chances to take an early lead. The line of Alex Formenton, Connor Brown and Nick Paul, in particular, had a strong period as they were able to establish a cycle and create chances below the hashmarks.
Connor Brown is a relentless forechecker. pic.twitter.com/92xQs6TcOG— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) February 11, 2022
This line was absolutely dominant in the first at even strength, with a CF% of 75%. Alas, the score remained deadlocked heading into the first intermission.
The second period started out a lot like the first. There was some back and forth, the Penguins got a powerplay but the Sens showed they’re not to be messed with when down a man.
Nick Paul. 😳 pic.twitter.com/SHHIQ1NtED— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) February 11, 2022
Unfortunately for the Sens, they weren’t the ones to break the tie in this one as Jeff Carter buried his 13th of the season on a one timer from Kris Letang.
Chabot gets caught trying to spring the odd-man rush and Letang sends it to Carter who makes it 1-0. pic.twitter.com/1ncqqw6vUu— Alex Metzger (@nhlsensandstuff) February 11, 2022
Ottawa wasn’t about to let that get them down, however, as they found their groove on the next shift in Pittsburgh’s end. They weren’t able to tie things up but drawing a penalty and heading to their first powerplay of the game was certainly worth the hard working shift. Despite a few solid chances, they weren’t able to capitalize. The Pens dominated much of the play for the remainder of the period but luckily Murray was able to keep the team in it heading into intermission.
In the third, the rising price of gas appeared to have a heavy affect on the Sens. As they headed into the final minutes, the score still sitting at 1-0 for Pittsburgh, the Penguins were outshooting the Sens 18 to 4 on the period. Despite a few chances with the goalie pulled, Bryan Rust put the final nail in the coffin with an empty netter to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 victory in Kanata.
- Matt Murray did all you could ask of him against his former club. He allowed one goal - an absolutely perfect shot from Jeff Carter - and gave his team every opportunity to stay in the game. He had a 0.977 SV%, his first regulation loss in his last eight starts.
- Despite the team, at large, getting outplayed, the line of Formenton, Brown and Paul somehow managed to be dominant in the corsi battle with 65.38% - the only line on the positive side of this stat.
- Importantly, Sidney Crosby did not score his 500th goal against the Ottawa Senators./