Penguins Managing To Outshoot Wings Late

While plenty of people have been talking about how the referees failed to whistle the Pittsburgh Penguins for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty during the second period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, the data point that caught my eye was the fact that the Penguins outshot the Detroit Red Wings 10-3 in the third period. ↵

↵This marks the third time that the Penguins have managed that feat in this series, though this time it was a bit different. In both Games 1 and 2, Detroit was ahead at the start of the third period, so it wasn't much of a surprise that the Penguins outshot the Red Wings while Detroit played low-risk hockey in order to protect a lead. But on Tuesday, the teams were tied heading into the final period. ↵

↵

↵The dominance that Pittsburgh displayed in the third period actually got started with a little more than two minutes left in the second period. After that, the Penguins held the Red Wings without a shot for about 10 minutes, until just about half way into the third period. ↵

↵

↵How did it happen? In short, Pittsburgh's dominating forecheck that was so evident against Carolina and Washington in the second and third rounds of the playoffs re-emerged. And it was never more dangerous than when the Penguins cycled the puck down low, in particular when center Evgeni Malkin gained possession of the puck behind the Detroit net. ↵

↵

↵When you spend that much time in your own end, it's inevitable that somebody on your team is going to make a mistake, and this time it came courtesy of rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who was whistled for interference on Penguins agitator Matt Cooke. Defenseman Sergei Gonchar would score on the ensuing power play to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead before Maxime Talbot tacked on an empty-net goal late to complete a 4-2 win. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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