Photo: Jason Kopinski/Icon Sportswire
“We played a good game,” Crosby said. “That happens sometimes in the playoffs. We’ve got to regroup here, but we did a lot of good things and probably deserved better tonight.”
Crosby’s quote pretty much sums up game six. Crosby, Malkin and crew were ready to close out the series in game six and generated a 12.4% play-by-play advantage by the end of the game.
The Penguins out contributed the Senators by 11.9% in the first and a huge 96% in the second, but the Senators stormed back in the third with a 74% play-by-play advantage on route to getting and holding a one goal lead.
Through six games the trend is similar, with the Penguins having a 15.3% and 73.3% advantage in the first and second periods respectively, but the Senators have a 10.9% third period edge.
On an average per game basis, the Penguins have a 18.5% advantage over the Senators, with Pittsburg creating 39% more offense and the Senators leading defensive contributions by 30%.
Puck management by both teams has been very similar, with Pittsburgh holding a slight 6% edge with a lower weighted turnover score, but Pittsburgh has created much more offense with the same level of risk.
With the likes of Crosby, Malkin and Kessel, the Penguins usually dominate in Great Offensive Plays, but they are only leading the Senators by a relatively small 12% in the series. Letang has been sorely missed in this area.
1. Sidney Crosby leads all forwards in the series and has a slim 14% play-by-play advantage on Malkin.
Crosby’s defensive contributions jumped significantly in last year’s playoffs as compared to the 15/16 regular season, and he has done this same in this series, performing 71% above his 16/17 regular season defensive play.
Crosby is still not among the elite defensive forwards but his commitment to improve and reinforce his stature as a prolific winner, is evident in his play-by-play contributions over the past few regular seasons and playoffs.
2. Evgeni Malkin was exceptional in game six, performing 63% above his series average. His game four was a low point but in games five and six, he has risen back to the level he started the series at in game one.
3. Phil Kessel is only 7% behind Malkin and has raised his play-by-play contributions in the series by 21% over his regular season. His defensive contributions are up 70% from last year’s playoffs, and drastically up from the 15/16 and 16/17 regular seasons.
1. Trevor Daley has performed 149% above his regular season average. His offense has jumped but credit to him and the Penguins coaching staff for his massive defensive improvement.
2. Olli Maatta is also playing the best hockey of his career, performing 144% above his regular season average.
3. Ian Cole is 15% behind Maatta and sporting a more pedestrian 7.8% increase over his regular season average. He is leading the Penguins d-core in defensive contributions.
1. Marc Stone is 51% behind Crosby and leading Ryan by 11%. Stone is far and away the leading defensive forward in the series by 26.8%.
2. Bobby Ryan, 3. Kyle Turris, and 4. Jean-Gabriel Pageau are all very close and about 10% back of Stone in play-by-play contributions.
The top four Ottawa forwards have contributed 258% more defensively than the top four Penguin forwards, but the Penguins top four have contributed 75.8% more offensively. Note, defensive plays are less frequent than offensive plays.
1. Eric Karlsson is the leading all Ottawa players by 23% in per game contributions, and quite remarkably in the same neighborhood as the Penguins top three forwards.
Pittsburgh’s strong defensive play has restricted his offense by 34% as compared to his level against the Rangers in round two, but he has made up for the drop with a 366% increase in defensive performance, which leads all Senator defensemen.
2. Cody Ceci is 43% above his performance last round vs the Rangers and 29% above his season average.
3. Ben Harpur, 4. Dion Phaneuf, and 5. Marc Methot are all very close in third, with Harpur being the strongest defensively but weakest offensively, and Phaneuf leading on offense but the weakest defensively of the three.
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