Penguins Power Play Blanks in Game 5

The top power play in the league couldn't score on five attempts

Shelby Cassesse
April 20, 2018 - 11:17 pm
Sidney Crosby against the Flyers.

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The FAN) - Much like their Game 2 loss to the Flyers, the Penguins weren't lacking scoring opportunities in their 4-2 loss in Game 5.

They outshot the Flyers 32-25 but struggled to find their footing with the man-advantage, mustering only four shots on five power play opportunities, including a 4-on-3. 

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan addressed the missed opportunities following the game.

"I thought our power play had an opportunity to be the difference," he said. "It wasn't, but most nights, it is."

The low point for the power play came in the 2nd period. Jake Guentzel had just given the Penguins a 2-1 lead, and another man-advantage looked to be an opportunity for the Penguins to put the series away, but the Flyers were able to maintain the puck in the Penguins' zone. Valtteri Filppula deflected a loose puck past Matt Murray to tie the game with a short handed goal. 

"That was a huge boost to our hockey team," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "Not just getting the kills, but to come back and score a short handed goal, the timing of it was huge. They had just gone up 2-1, all of the momentum going their way, so that's a big play by those two guys." 

Sullivan felt it had to do with tired legs on the ice. 

"I think our first unit probably over-stayed the shift," he said. "They should have changed and we should have got fresh people out there."

Meanwhile, the Flyers were on the power play once throughout the game. Hakstol alluded to the lopsided calls, and said they were a motivator for his team. 

"Our group just stayed calm, focused, did the job," he said. "The PK unit really did their job, and we've talked about it before. This is a dangerous power play to have that many opportunities, and the way they came about, I think our group could have gotten a little bit frustrated, but they didn't. They stayed with it. Nuvi's (30 saves) a big part of that and for me, that's a key portion of the game." 

In the 40 hours between games, the Penguins will have the opportunity to dissect what went wrong with the league's top power play unit, but Sullivan already has a good idea.

"I just didn't think we had a lot of movement," he said. "Our power play is at its best when they move, and I thought it was stagnant. We've got to make sure the puck moves and people move. When they do that, they're a dangerous power play." 

The Penguins return to Philadelphia for a game on Sunday. Puck drops at 3 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.