So what happened?
Poor, inconsistent play for the Penguins in both of these games against the Isles. You could see the emphasis in defense in terms of their posture in their own zone (the points were wide open for the Isles because everyone was packing it in), but though the look was there, the results were not. The Isles were able score twice at even strength, and both goals were largely due to defensive breakdowns.
The offense wasn't much better for the Pens, who struggled to generate any kind of consistent pressure.
I think these two games are best forgotten quickly. The opportunity they missed in these four points was huge.
Dupuis (24), Staal (24), Malkin (47)
- Duper has a 12 game point streak. That's tied for the longest streak this season in the NHL.
- Sid took a puck to the face, but returned to the game (which is the "good" part of that equation).
- Geno reached 100 points on the season.
- You could tell the defense was very wary of the speed of Grabner. You could also tell there was a huge difference without Niskanen and Letang.
- The power play for the Pens with five forwards. They're going to get killed if they keep deploying that - at least throw Paul Martin out there and have him stand by the red line if necessary. The short-handed chances against have to stop.
- I was really surprised HCDB broke up Malkin, Neal and Kunitz. I know it probably makes the team stronger overall, but I'm not sure I would have done that.
What's their record now?
The Pens are 47-24-6. They are five points behind the Rangers and just two ahead of the Flyers. All three teams have five games remaining.
A trip over to Buffalo for a game tomorrow night.