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The New York Islanders are absolutely dominating puck possession against the Pittsburgh Penguins in their round 1 series. The Penguins have been fortunate enough to click on their power play and also run into a poorly performing goaltender in Evgeni Nabokov. As you will see from the data below the Penguins as a collective group have been miserable as it pertains to Corsi ratings. Once again Corsi rating is a measure of all shots taken including ones that miss the net or are blocked. A positive rating means the puck is going towards the opposing teams net, a negative rating means it is going at your own net.
Without further adieu the data from this series to this point:
Even in their convincing game 1 victory the Penguins were not doing a very good job of possessing the puck.
Game 2 saw the Islanders come back after being down 2-0 to win 4-3. Another game where the Islanders dominated the flow of play at even strength.
Game 3 was another rough uphill battle for the Penguins at even strength. Penguins escaped with a 5-4 victory in OT.
Another high scoring affair which resulted in a 6-4 Islanders victory, however the Penguins are starting to show signs of life at even strength. If not for a remarkable meltdown by Marc Andre Fleury the Penguins most likely escape with the victory. Overall this was probably the best game the Penguins played in this series. With Vokoun starting in game 5 the Penguins have something to build off of as they head home tied 2-2 in the series. Evgeni Nabokov has been very bad this series (actually statistically worse than Fleury) but the Islanders do not have a solid veteran backup to lean on like the Penguins.
If Pittsburgh can continue to build on their game 4 even strength improvements and receive even average goaltending, they will most likely win and advance to the second round. If they are unable to win the even strength battle, it might be another one and done for the flightless fowl.
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