Columbus beat Anaheim 4-2 on Friday night in big thanks to the line of Pierre-Luc Dubois, Artemi Panarin, and Josh Anderson. The three of them were involved in the team’s first three goals, with Panarin and Anderson managing one each. They dominated possession – each forward was above 65 percent – continuing their solid play. In a small sample this year going into Friday’s matchup, the trio was bordering at percent possession (72 minutes played), and nearly 70 adjusted shot attempts per 60 minutes. Those are monster numbers. I’m very interested to see how they perform over the long-term. This is only about six games’ worth of ice time, so no determinations should be made yet, but this is a great start for the trio.
Of course, we can’t forget about the inept Columbus power play. They did score tonight, but went 1-7 overall, and the one goal was a breakdown off the rush created by Dubois. It’s not like they were moving the puck with efficiency. Here’s a stat for you: in the 11 seasons of data we have since the start of 2007-2008, going into Friday’s action, this year’s Columbus team was last in goals per 60 minutes while on the power play. The gap between them (3.02) and fourth (the 2016-17 Avalanche at 4.35) was larger than the gap between 4th and 47th (the 2013-14 Jets at 5.67).
It might look like the Rangers blew out the Hurricanes at MSG on Friday, but it was a one-goal game with 135 seconds left in the third period. Michael Grabner scored two (yes, two) empty-net goals for the hat trick. Paul Carey added a late power-play goal to give us the 5-1 final.
We probably should have known early on we were in for weird things in this game: Scott Darling allowed an early second-period goal to David Desharnais while the diminutive centre was forechecking on the penalty kill. Well, “allowed” a goal might be generous: