A deeper look at how Phaneuf, Gaborik did in first game with new teams

Joey Alfieri
NBC Sports

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The Ottawa Senators and Los Angeles Kings didn’t have to wait long to see their new players produce for them. Both Marian Gaborik and Dion Phaneuf managed to find the back of the net on Thursday night, but scoring one goal in one game isn’t always a great indicator for how a player did.

Here’s a deeper look at how Gaborik and Phaneuf performed:

Dion Phaneuf vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Phaneuf finished the night with one power play goal, three shots, three hits and three blocked shots in 18:56 of ice time. On the surface, his numbers look pretty strong, but the advanced stats say otherwise.

Of all the players on the Kings roster, Phaneuf had the second worse Corsi number on the team at five-on-five at minus-9. The pairing of Phaneuf and Alec Martinez finished with a combined Corsi number of minus-21 against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

In fairness to both players, they started outside of the offensive zone more than any of the other two pairings (they started in the offensive zone around 30 percent of the time). And, of course, that doesn’t include the time both spent on the power play.

“They’re both guys who play lots on the power play,” head coach John Stevens said after the game, per LA Kings Insider. “Dion, to me, looks like a guy that wants to shoot the puck all time, which is a really good thing. When he gets the puck he’s always looking at the net and if there’s not a lane to the net he’s still trying to get it in behind, either off the end wall or look for a stick in front, so to me that’s a great asset to have on a power play.”

Phaneuf’s FF% was at 40.74 percent, which isn’t great, but it was the third highest one on the team for defenseman behind Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin, who were at 56 and 53.57 percent respectively.

When Phaneuf was on the ice at even-strength, the Kings had six scoring chances, while the Penguins had 16.

Marian Gaborik vs. Buffalo Sabres:

Gaborik actually came away with a two-point night in his first game as an Ottawa Senator. Not only did he score the game-tying goal (1-1) at the 5:15 mark of the third period, he also registered the primary assist on Derick Brassard‘s equalizer with 31 seconds remaining in regulation. Not a bad night, right? Let’s see what the advanced stats say.

He spent most of his time on a line with Matt Duchene and Mike Hoffman, which must have been fun. Overall, he had the third best CF% on the team at 70 percent at 5-on-5, according to Natural Stat Trick. When he was on the ice, the Senators had 12 scoring chances for and just three against.

He finished the night with two points, a plus-1 rating, two shots on goal and one hit in 18:12 of ice time.

“I felt pretty good, right from the get-go,” said Gaborik, per the Ottawa Sun. “It worked out well. I created some chemistry with (Duchene and Hoffman) and I think we battled right to the end. We were the better team and we had quite a few chances and their goalie held them in there.”

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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