The Toronto Maple Leafs spoiled the Penguins' home opener, 5-2, Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center, but one thing was clear -- it wasn't the fault of the Penguins' penalty-killing.
Nothing much this season has been.
The Maple Leafs got their final goal with 1:01 left in regulation on a five-on-three power play, but that didn't seem like enough to counter the job the Penguins did earlier -- and in their first two games, both road wins -- while short-handed.
"Our penalty-kill has been pretty good for the most part," said center Brandon Sutter, a newcomer to the club who has helped the Penguins give up just two power-play goals in 17 chances through three games -- and those two goals came with the team on the wrong side of a five-on-three.
Toronto finished 1 for 8 on the power play.
"Our penalty-kill was very good again [Wednesday night]," coach Dan Bylsma said.
The flip side is that the Penguins spent 11 minutes, 40 seconds killing penalties. They were assessed eight minor penalties.
"You're in the [penalty] box that much, it definitely takes a toll on you," Sutter said. "It takes away a lot of momentum, and you spend a lot of time trying to play defense."
That was a theme in the second period. With the score tied, 2-2, the Penguins were short-handed continuously over a stretch of 5:03, including Toronto five-on-three advantages for 50 and 7 seconds.
It started with a tripping call against defenseman Deryk Engelland at 8:45. The Maple Leafs managed just two shots before Matt Cooke got sent off for slashing at 9:55.
The Penguins limited Toronto to one shot over the 50 seconds that they were down by two skaters.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/penguins/short-handed-situations-slowing-penguins-offense-671766/#ixzz2Iv9cZ000
Short-handed situations slowing Penguins offense
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Jan 24