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Snap Shots: Canucks 4, Pens 1

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Thoughts, musings and observations from the Penguins' 4-1 loss against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

* The Penguins beat themselves in this game with a stretch of penalties taken in the first period. The Canucks would score twice and it was a lead the Penguins could never overcome. Pittsburgh carried the play in the second and third period, but the damage had already been done in the opening frame.

* This was a truly bizarre game, highlighted by a first period that saw the Penguins register 0 shots, take four penalties within a 1:27-minute span, spend 4:36 minutes straight shorthanded (with 2:05 of it being a 5-on-3) - and that's not counting the 62 seconds worth that was negated due to an off-side call that waved off a Canucks goal.

The most insane aspect was the 1:02 worth of a 5-on-3 sequence that was wiped out of existence after the Penguins successfully challenged for off-side. Gone were three brilliant split pad saves by goaltender Matt Murray on Brock Boeser (twice) and J.T. Miller. Also gone was a goal by Miller and four Canuck shots on goal.

Vancouver would score twice on that entire sequence, but all things considered the Penguins were lucky to only allow two goals, thanks in part to some great PK work.

* Let's let the numbers tell the story.

9:37: The time remaining in the first period before EITHER team recorded a shot on goal. It was Vancouver's Antoine Roussel who registered the shot. Prior to that, fans watched an opening 10:23 of shotless hockey.

4:36: Straight minutes the Penguins spent shorthanded in the final seven-plus minutes of the first period. It began with a double high sticking minor to Dominik Simon (nevermind that it was a Canuck player that knocked Simon's stick into his Vancouver teammate). That was followed shortly (41 seconds) by a holding penalty on Branden Tanev, which was followed shortly (46 seconds) by a tripping penalty on Jack Johnson.

5:38: Straight shorthanded minutes for the Penguins PK unit, if you count the negated time. Speaking off…

62: Seconds of Vancouver's 5-on-3 sequence was wiped off the board after J.T. Miller scored and the Penguins successfully challenged for off-side. A few spectacular saves by Murray were negated as well. The goal occurred with 5:15 remaining. The clock was reset to 6:17.

2:05: Minutes of 5-on-3 play ensued. Pittsburgh killed 125 seconds down two men before Jake Virtanen scored to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead. Then Pittsburgh was down a single man.

0: Shots for the Penguins in the first period. It was the first time in franchise history that Pittsburgh didn't register a single shot in a period in a road game. The Penguins had been held to one shot in a period on the road on 13 previous occasions. The Penguins did, however, have 0 shots in a period at home (San Jose, Nov. 23, 2002).

20: Shots for the Penguins in the second period. So, after going shotless in 20 minutes, the Penguins average one shot per minute in the second frame.

5: Total shots for the Canucks in the first period.

6: Total shots for the Canucks in the second period. 

3: Total shots for the Canucks in the third period.

But…

2-1, 4: Pittsburgh still finished 2-1 on the western Canada swing for four out of six points. All in all, not a bad trip.

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