The Loop

Shoot The Puck

The Penguins had a 3-on-0 in OT and didn't score. Actually, they didn't even put the puck on net

January 27, 2021

Since its debut in 2015, 3-on-3 overtime in the NHL has been a roaring success. The goal was to eliminate, or, at least reduce the need to go to a shootout. For the most part, 3-on-3 has done that, though teams have become smarter and smarter in the 3-on-3 situation each year. 

What started as a breakaway-fest has turned into a battle of who can possess the puck the longest and, in turn, get only the most high quality chances. That said, there still are plenty of odd-man rushes and breakaways off mistakes, which is what we saw Tuesday night in the Boston Bruins-Pittsburgh Penguins game. 

With the game tied 2-2 and 1:20 left in overtime, Boston's Brad Marchand was blown up in the Penguins zone. The puck then squirted loose, and the Pens were off to the races. A 3-on-0, and not just any 3-on-0, one that featured Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. The game ending on this rush was not only likely, it was a foregone conclusion. 

One small problem: to end the game in OT, you have to, at the absolute MINIMUM, put the puck on net. Get one of them shots on goal. Make the tendy make a save. Yada, yada. The Penguins failed to do this, despite having a 3-on-0, as we said. Moments later, the Bruins made them pay: 

Ooooofaaaa. OK, so maybe it went from a 3-on-0 to a 2-on-0, but a 2-on-0 with Malkin and Letang might be better than everybody else's 3-on-0. But this dynamic duo made the cardinal hockey sin of getting a little too fancy. Trying to find the perfect, easy goal. For once, the "SHOOT THE PUCK" people might have a case with this one. 

P.S. - Gotta love our boy Jack Edwards, the Bruins play-by-play man, screaming "THAT'S THE WAY YOU DO IT." The man is the homer of all homers. You really just have to respect it at this point.