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Insider Only Lack of support game, Possession woes continue vs Hurricanes

Lack of support game, Possession woes continue vs Hurricanes

In a game that was a four point swing, the Carolina Hurricanes closed to within four points of the Penguins in the Metropolitan division with a 4-0 shutout win on Tuesday night.

The Penguins who have lost six of nine, dropped their second straight and there was a trend between the Toronto and Carolina game.

Both games turned into 5-on-5 games with limited power play opportunities. Pittsburgh had just two power play chances vs the Hurricanes and one vs Toronto.

The Penguins have been outscored 6-1 during 5-on-5 play over their last two games.

More concerning 5-on-5 #’s vs the Leafs and Hurricanes:

44% possession vs TOR, 41% possession vs CAR.

Against the Leafs, even though the Penguins built up a 2-0 lead, they were behind the eight-ball in the way the game was playing out as the Toronto game saw the Leafs win the Sidney Crosby matchup by controlling possession at 60% when they had the John Tavares/Jake Muzzin matchup against 87.

The Carolina game saw Hurricanes overwhelm the Penguins bottom-tier players and Pittsburgh get absolutely nothing from their second line.

Jack Johnson 27% possession, Jared McCann and Tanner Pearson 29% possession, Marcus Pettersson 30% in possession.

The Pearson – Bjugstad – Kessel line was at 32% possession.

Mike Sullivan afterwards was harping on the Penguins lack of support game in the offensive zone and making it hard on the opposition. The Penguins keep making personnel changes to address these areas and there’s still too many by-standers in the lineup that is fueling this inconsistent level of play.

“We’ve got to find a way to make it hard Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

Decision Time on Defense

The NHL is such a fast game these days, coaches just don’t believe you can get away with playing defensemen on their off-side.

Pittsburgh, though, has been trying to get away with it all season.

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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