BY RICH GOLDBERG (@GoldyStats)
CSN Mid-Atlantic researcher Rich Golderberg provides the five stats that explain why the Penguins eliminated the Capitals:
Triple threat: The Penguins top three point scorers all came from the same line. Carl Hagelin scored 7 points, a career-high for a single series. Nick Bonino scored 5 points, tying a career-high for one series. Phil Kessel scored 6 points. Together they accounted for 7 goals and 11 assists while masking the disappearing acts of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who combined for 4 total points.
Old trends return: During a 14-game span between February 22 and March 20, opponents outscored Washington 15 to 3 in the first period. The Capitals played their best in the third period and their worst in the first. Against the Penguins, Washington scored 3 goals in the first period and 6 goals in the third. The Capitals allowed the opening goal in Game 6 and finished 1-5 this postseason when allowing the first goal.
Brooks backfire: The Capitals lost 2 of 3 games during the Brooks Orpik suspension. Carl Hagelin scored off a Nate Schmidt giveaway in Game 3, then Mike Weber’s turnover led to Patric Hornqvist’s overtime goal in Game 4. When Orpik came back for Game 6, his double-minor penalty led to two Penguins power play goals in a span of 33 seconds.
4 for the taking: Game 4 should have gone the Capitals way. Jay Beagle scored the opening goal (Caps were 27-2-5 all-time when he scored a goal). Tom Wilson notched an assist (Capitals were 18-0-1 this season when scoring a point). The Penguins were without Kris Letang (Penguins were 2-8-1 without Letang this season). Not to mention Olli Maatta was hurt. Despite all those coincidences for the Caps, the Penguins won and took a 3-1 series lead.
What a pit-y: Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 1 goal in his final 32 games of the season with 1 point in the Pens series. Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky and Jason Chimera totaled a combined 3 points against Pittsburgh while Johansson’s -4 rating was the worst among the Capitals this series. As a team, the Capitals averaged 1.67 even-strength goals against the Penguins, after scoring 2.35 even-strength goals per game during the regular season.