Penguins Game Day
When: November 6 2010 | Where: Jobing.com Arena
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS PHOENIX COYOTES
The Pens face the Phoenix Coyotes in the last of a three-game Western Conference road swing. Pittsburgh has lost five of six and fallen below .500 for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Phoenix, coming off a rare playoff year, is 4-5-3, fourth place in the Pacific Division. The Coyotes have beaten the Penguins in two straight, outscoring Pittsburgh 7-1 in those games.
Quick look at the Penguins by the numbers through 14 games
*After ranking as high as fourth in the league in goals per game, the Penguins are now 15th (2.8). Defensively, the team is 13th in goals against (2.6 per game).
*The power play scored Friday to break an 0-for-29 drought (24th in NHL, 12.9 percent). The Penguins are clicking at a 15.6% at home and 10.5% on the road. In 70 power play opportunities, Pittsburgh has scored 9 power play goals. Sidney Crosby leads the Penguins with 4 power play goals.
*The Penguins are 8th overall on the penalty kill (86.8%) and tied for second in the league with 3 shorthanded goals (tied with Philadelphia). Washington leads the league with 4 shorthanded goals.
*Pittsburgh is outshooting opponents this season, having been outshot in only three games. Only one of those three was a loss (Dallas, 29 shots to 23).
*The Pens have 6 starters who are now a minus on the season. Zbynek Michalek is a team worst minus-6 in five games played. Evgeni Malkin is a minus-5, a team worst among forwards.
Malkin (3G-6A) has 1 assist in his last 5 games and is a minus-8 during that span. According to NHL.com, Malkin is ranked 77th in points with 9.
*Through 14 games, only Sidney Crosby (8G-9A) and Kris Letang (3G-10A) have scored double digit points.
Crosby snapped a 5 game goal scoring drought Friday night with a 2 goal performance against Anaheim. Crosby leads the team with 8 goals and 17 points on the season. He is 3 points behind Steven Stamkos who leads the National Hockey League with 20 points.
In his past 10 games, Crosby has 7 goals and 8 assists and has recorded points in 8 of his last 10 games.
Letang leads the team with 10 assists and a plus-7 rating.
*Fans and media have decried the Penguins for two years concerning a lack of scoring wingers. Through 14 games, three of the Penguins’ top seven scorers are defensemen.
Chris Kunitz is a minus-3, scoring 6 points in 14 games (2G-4A). Pascal Dupuis, the Pens’ other top-line winger, is a plus-3. Kunitz is a regular on the top PP unit, while Dupuis a regular on the top penalty kill unit and carries a plus-6 differential over Kunitz.
Dupuis (3G-1A) has 4 points in his last four games.
Mike Comrie is a minus-3 with five assists in 13 games. He has yet to score a goal as a Penguin and is the Penguins only forward who has appeared in 9 or more games, not to score a goal.
Forward Mark Letestu (4G-3A) has 0 points in his last 7 games. Letestu’s 4 goals though still have him tied for second on the team with Pascal Dupuis.
*After tallying 7 points (1G-6A) in his first 7 games, defenseman Paul Martin is pointless in his last 7 games.
*Marc-Andre Fleury is playing no better than the team in front of him. Fleury is 1-6 in seven games played, getting just two out of a possible 14 points. His 3.31 GAA is one of the worst such numbers in the NHL, as is his .861 save percentage.
Fleury who is stuck on 149 career wins, has given up 3 or more goals in all seven starts this season.
*Brent Johnson sports a 5-1-1 record with a 1.70 GAA and .941 save percentage, even after absorbing the 5-2 loss to Dallas. Johnson has given up 2 goals or fewer in 6 of his 7 starts.
Penalties have become a bit of a trend. Pittsburgh is averaging just over 17 PIM per game, seventh most in the NHL. They have 15 major penalties, second most in the league.
The team also has 65 minor penalties, fourth most in the NHL. Eleven of those minors have been hooking calls, generally the result of chasing players and poor positioning.
A 12.9 percent power play will keep a team out of the playoffs. Of the six teams with a worse PP than Pittsburgh, only three were playoff teams last season. Of those same six, only Columbus and Montreal are currently in a playoff position.
Phoenix is off to a slow start after last season’s surprise playoff appearance. The Coyotes have won only twice in their last seven.
Offense has been the culprit, or the lack thereof. The Coyotes are 22nd overall in goals per game (2.5) and 19th on the power play (14.3 percent).
Phoenix is little better defensively. They are 22nd overall in goals against per game (3.2). The Phoenix penalty kill is working at only 77.4 percent, 5th-worst in the league.
Lee Stempniak leads the Coyotes with four goals and 35 shots on goal. Ed Jovanovski leads the team in assists (6) and points (9). Shane Doan leads Phoenix with 25 PIM.
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, a Vezina finalist a year ago, is 4-2-3 in eleven games played this season (2.84 – .916). Bryzgalov was pulled in Friday’s 6-3 loss to Dallas.
Backup Jason LaBarbera is winless in three starts (4.76 – .868).
No Phoenix player has scored more than 10 points this season. Nine Coyotes are a minus on the season. Adrian Aucoin leads the team with a plus-6.
Phoenix has outshot an opponent only once this season. They are 15th in the NHL in shots per game (30.8), but are fourth in shots against (34.4 per game).
The Coyotes are playing relatively disciplined, averaging 12.92 PIM per game. They have allowed 12 power play goals this season.
More Penguins by The Numbers
*Sidney Crosby (182W-130L) leads the Penguins with a 58.3 face-off percentage. Mark Letestu (75-72) is second on draws with a 51.1 percentage.
*Defenseman Alex Goligoski leads the Penguins in overall ice time, averaging 24:38 minutes per game. Defenseman Paul Martin who is second in ice time, averaging 24:18 minutes per game, leads the Penguins in even strength ice time, averaging 17:59 minutes per game.
*According to the Pens radio twitter feed (prior to Friday’s game), Kris Letang had gone 93 games without a power play goal. That streak is now at 94 games after last night’s game.