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Penguins

Jack Johnson, Marcus Pettersson shine on stat sheet in Penguins loss in Ottawa

Jonathan Bombulie
| Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, 5:36 a.m.
Penguins’ Jack Johnson skates Wednesday Aug. 29, 2018 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins’ Jack Johnson skates Wednesday Aug. 29, 2018 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

OTTAWA – The Pittsburgh Penguins dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night despite piling up a massive statistical advantage in a handful of categories.

No players embodied that frustration more than the defense pair of Jack Johnson and Marcus Pettersson.

When Johnson was on the ice at even strength, the Penguins held a 18-3 advantage in shot attempts, a 5-2 edge in shots on goal and a 5-0 lead in scoring chances.

When Pettersson was on the ice, the advantage was even more pronounced – 15-0 in shot attempts, 5-0 in shots and 2-0 in scoring chances.

“I thought our team played well tonight, and usually when you’re playing well, you’re in the offensive zone,” Johnson said. “It did feel like we were more in the offensive zone. A lot easier playing down there.”

Johnson’s numbers stand out because they’re the same figures his critics use to bludgeon him when he doesn’t perform well. He’s never finished a season with a positive shot-attempt percentage in his 12-year NHL career.

Pettersson’s numbers stand out because they’re part of a good first impression he’s made since joining the Penguins in a trade with Anaheim last week. In three games with his new team, the 22-year-old Swede has used his long reach and defensive awareness to look like the kind of player who will be a solid player on the blue line for years to come.

Despite their impressive stats, Johnson and Pettersson had nothing to celebrate after Ryan Dzingel’s power-play goal in overtime.

Johnson was lamenting a scoring chance he had on the rebound of a Derick Brassard shot in the third period that he couldn’t put past goalie Craig Anderson.

The Penguins were upset about a 5-2 power-play advantage the Senators had in the game.

“Every game is going to present new challenges,” Johnson said. “Referees, whether they call it tighter or looser, that’s out of your control. You’ve got to battle through stuff. You can’t be looking at the refs for calls and complaining while the play’s going on. You’ve just got to keep battling through, keep playing the game.”

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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