Odd-Man Breaks resurface in 4-2 loss
Pittsburgh’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning had a lot of ebbs and flows. The first period was all Tampa Bay. They controlled possession and zone time, putting up 16 shots in period one and led 2-0 after twenty.
From there, it turned into more of a back and forth game.
Matt Murray kept the Penguins hanging around and what they’ve done so well all season, Pittsburgh had some really good stretches in the final 40 minutes with their push back, especially below the dots in the offensive zone.
Matt Murray 25 Saves, .897 SV%
Andre Vasilevskiy 29 Saves, .935 SV%
But, the story of this game was the breakdowns at inopportune times.
Some of the bad habits Pittsburgh has been very good at avoiding this season popped up against an opponent that will make you pay.
What’s going to dictate a deep run for the Penguins this spring is whether they can avoid those 3-4 crucial breakdowns against teams that can counter in pushing the play and crush you in transition with odd-man breaks.
That was the difference in this one.
On the Stamkos first period goal to put the Lightning up 2-0, Justin Schultz made a questionable decision to join the rush when the Lightning had numbers back and seconds later the puck was in the back of the Penguins net.
— Another situation that led a goal in the back of the Penguins net happened just when Pittsburgh started to tilt the ice mid-way through the second. Evgeni Malkin cuts Tampa Bay’s lead to 2-1 at 9:25 of the second and this was another in-game moment where there’s no reason to be so aggressive on a risky pinch.
Here Kris Letang pinches, while the Lightning have strong puck support along the boards, leaving Pittsburgh’s F3 as the lone line of the defense and the Lightning get past the F3 and it’s a 2-on-1 the other way and 3-1 game.
Evgeni Malkin vs TBL
Goal (17), Assist, 3 SOG, 22:03 TOI
1. John Marino scored a third period goal to get the Penguins within one, his 5th of the season on quite the breakdown by the Lightning with three players caught deep as Marino buried a feed from Malkin for the goal. Marino, though, took a Steven Stamkos slap shot to the upper left check in the third period and is being evaluated.
2. Rick Tocchet was onto to something when despite Alex Galchenyuk scoring 19 goals last season for him, Tochett felt after one year with Galchenyuk that he was nothing more than a 4 Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"