Pens' Keys to Winning vs TB by @msteiner90 - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

The Latest

Post Top Ad

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pens' Keys to Winning vs TB by @msteiner90

Sidney Crosby lining up for a face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning's Tyler Johnson

After a long playoff run and a pre-season World Cup of Hockey, the Penguins glided into their eight day bye week as eager as ever.  Tonight they face their Eastern Conference Final rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have had quite the hangover since almost besting the Penguins in the nail-biter of a series last year.

As Pittsburgh returns from their eight day break, the Lightning will look to snap the Pens four game winning streak, and start one of their own. To pick back up where they left off, the Penguins will look to the following keys to winning the game:

1. Close the shooting lanes on Nikita Kucherov

We all remember the impossible sniping the Lightning pulled off throughout the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals.  Largely, the team hasn't changed.  Alex Killorn has 13 goals so far this season, but Nikita Kucherov is the engine that drives this offense and the Penguins need to close the lanes that will allow him to work the puck towards the Penguins' net.

2. Win face-offs...especially when Victor Hedman is on the ice.

Victor Hedman is a large human being.  On the order of 6'6" and 223 lbs.  And he is somewhat fleet of foot (or, skate if you will).  When the Lightning win face-offs with Hedman on the ice, his vision of the ice, his ability to hold the puck, and his ability to move the puck gracefully to his sniping forwards is the catalyst that sparks this quick offense.  Keeping the puck off of the stick of Victor Hedman is a difficult task, but it all starts at winning the face-offs when he's on the ice.

3. Keep rolling.

The Penguins left off on New Years Eve with Evgeni Malkin pounding in an overtime snipe over the short-side shoulder of Carey Price to seal-off the most recent win in the four-game win streak before the New Year bye-week.  The Penguins seem to find ways to win by putting pucks towards the net, and relying on solid goaltending. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad