The Penguins inched even closer to claiming the Cup on Monday night, subduing the Sharks 3-1 in another tightly contested Stanley Cup Final match.
Pittsburgh received goals from Cole, Malkin, and Fehr and Kessel continued adding to his Conn Smythe case with two assists, including a slick feed to Evgeni Malkin in the middle of this vine:
From here on out, the Stanley Cup will be present and Pittsburgh will get two chances (if they need them) to claim the Cup at home.
With the win, and now up 3-1 in the series, the chances for a Sharks comeback look very slim.
Before we get to the game chart, a few words on reading the graph:
A couple of notes on reading the charts:
- the Corsi differential is based on 5v5 play and is score-adjusted, as per war-on-ice.
- players at the top (with bars extending to the right) posted positive differentials (good)
- players at the bottom (and to the left) posted negative differentials (bad)
- the colour of each bar represents the player’s time on ice (see legend at the bottom)
- each players individual Corsi For attempts are included in parentheses
- a player with a strong C +/- but a (0) for iCF didn’t directly contribute to his strong showing.
- a player with a weak C +/- but a strong iCF score (i.e. greater than 5) may have been hindered by linemates. Maybe.
- like any reasonable person, I don’t believe that Corsi is everything. But it’s a very important part of the everything.
Now, onto the game chart…
The HBK Line was excellent in this match, claiming the top three spots on the game chart. Letang, Dumoulin, Crosby and Schultz followed closely behind as the Penguins dominated the Corsi differential battle.
Burns stepped off of his usual throne, posting a measly (for him) 4 iCF. Kessel launched 9 shots on goal (shot attempts) and was excellent in this game. Pavelski managed 8 iCF but finished as a negative, which is tough to do.
At the bottom of the chart, Donskoi was awful. He posted a mark of approximately -16. Braun was only slightly better, slotting in at ~-10. After that, most Sharks were fairly close to break-even. That’s been the story of the series – the games are tight, but the Penguins are winning.
Penguins lead series 3-1.