The Washington Capitals played a complete 60 minute hockey game last night in Pittsburgh, finally taking down the Penguins for the first time this season. Here is our general game story as well as our top 3 studs in case you missed those. Read on here for report cards as we grade the offense.
We saw after the game that the Cobra Kai headband for the best offensive player went to Richard Panik. It stinks that there weren’t three headbands for the entire third line, which flat out dominated the whole game both statistically and in possession metrics but Panik deserved it out of the trio as he had two apples including the first one being the 100th of his career.
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The Caps took the lead in the second period when Panik set up Conor Sheary for a snipe for his third goal of the season. Later T.J. Oshie had a nice feed to Jakub Vrana to double Washington’s lead. It was Vrana’s fifth of the season. In the third period, Panik was at it again, this time setting up Lars Eller for the score for his second of the year.
Those were the goals and now here’s where it gets crazy. Possession metrics can confuse you but it isn’t rocket science that these numbers show they were pretty good.
The third line was the line that dominated and won the night. In 9:37 of ice time, the line had a Corsi-For percentage of 92.86 percent. Panik led the charge with a Corsi of 93.33 while Sheary had 82.35 with Eller finishing out at 80.95. That is simply staggering.
Oshie had great things to say about the third line. Via Andrew Gillis of NBC Sports Washington:
“Yeah they were great for us. Pretty good game a couple days ago as well, and that line contributing and winning every shift when they go out on the ice is big for our team. Those guys were horses tonight. Shears with his efforts and his strides. Richie over there is a thoroughbred and Lars is a horse and a moose coming through there in the middle.”
Grade A+: Three goals got the job done and that’s exactly what they scored. Not every line produced points, just the second and third line, but the third line dominance is why the Caps offense deserves a high grade in this one. The third line deserves a grade even higher than an A+ if there was such a thing.