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Insider Only Devils 4 – Penguins 1: Penguins continue to struggle against inferior teams in tight games

Penguins fall to Devils 4-1
Jaromir Jagr scored twice and Martin Brodeur stopped 27 of 28 shots, leading the New Jersey Devils (7-8-5, 19 pts) to a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (12-8-0, 24 pts) on Saturday night. It was yet again another disappointing game for the Penguins who have now lost four of five games and are 5-7-0 in their last 12 games. “Our older guys were great,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer said afterwards.
In what is becoming a common theme, inferior teams are the ones coming out on top in tight games the Penguins are involved. Once the Devils went up 2-1 with a 1:38 left in the second period on a goal from Adam Larsson, the Penguins never re-took control of the game despite multiple opportunities on the power play and you could just sense the next goal was going to New Jersey and Jagr sealed the win for New Jersey at 14:06 of the third to put the Devils up 3-1.
“We’ve been in tight games, one-goal games,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “We haven’t been able to win them. That’s a common theme.”
Chris Kunitz scored the Penguins only marker, a breakaway goal at 4:18 of the second period for his ninth goal of the season.
Starting in back to back situations for the first time this season, Marc Andre Fleury gave up three poor goals and had an .857 save percentage in the loss. Just brutal. Fleury is 3-4 with a 2.73 GAA and .889 save percentage on the road this season.
Evgeni Malkin’s point streak ends at six games. Malkin was a minus-3 in the loss and has now gone 13 games without a goal. He’s on pace for 12 goals this season and he’s reached the point where he appears have no confidence in his shot such as passing up a great opportunity to roof one past Brodeur on a rush to the net in the second period. Malkin instead did a spin-o-rama and got off a poor backhand shot.
The Penguins enter a very tough stretch facing Anaheim, @ Washington, vs New York Islanders, @ Montreal, @ Boston, vs Toronto.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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