Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Power-Play Woes Come at Both Ends

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Power-Play Woes Come at Both Ends

Article excerpt

The Penguins power play has been on the ice for momentum-swinging moments all season.

When the 5-on-5 goals weren't coming early in the season, it stepped up to provide instant offense. Throughout the season, it clicked at a league-high 26.2 percent, and was one of the team's most consistent elements.

In the Penguins' 4-2 Game 5 loss Friday to the Flyers, the power play once against played a pivotal role.

Only in the wrong direction.

The Penguins went 0 for 5 with the man-advantage, squandering a number of glorious chances to seize control of a potential series-clinching game. Even worse, the power play gave up Valtteri Filppula's game-tying short-handed goal in the second period, less than two minutes after Jake Guentzel finally put the Penguins ahead.

"I thought our power play had the opportunity to be the difference," coach Mike Sullivan said. "It wasn't, but most nights it is. We've got to make sure we learn from that and we move by it."

Perhaps the unit's best chance came midway through the second, when the Penguins had nearly two minutes of 4-on-3 time. Not only did they not score, they didn't even record a shot on goal.

The Penguins had another great chance to take the lead early in the third, when the first power-play unit kept the puck in the zone for nearly all two minutes of Filppula's tripping minor 15 seconds into the final period. They generated some chances and got the PPG Paints Arena crowd to its feet, but couldn't beat Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth.

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

That lack of movement was a theme on the night, and something Justin Schultz pointed to, as well. Schultz also said the Penguins tended to overpass a bit.

"I thought especially early we were maybe passing up some shots," Schultz said.

"But that happens. We've got to learn and move on to the next game."

Schultz admitted the power play might be missing Patric Hornqvist, who has missed Games 4 and 5 with an upper-body injury. …

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