Just two games into an 11 game stretch where the Penguins play 9 of 11 games on the road, Pittsburgh is off to a horrid start, dropping their second game in a row on Sunday afternoon in a 5-3 defeat to the New York Rangers.
A game where Pittsburgh jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from Deryk Engelland and Nick Johnson, only to see the Rangers scored 5 unanswered goals.
The Rangers who snapped a six game losing streak with the victory, dominated Pittsburgh on special teams, scoring 3 power play goals and killing off 5 of 6 penalties.
For the Penguins they have lost two straight games (lost 4 of 5 games) and have been outscored 14-6 in their past two losses.
With a depleted roster, this is a team that has to win low scoring games and this season they have emerged as one of the best defensive hockey teams in the league.
But over the past four or five games, they have regressed defensively, including their goaltending at times, which was not strong on Sunday.
If the Penguins continue on this trend, this team could be in trouble this month with 7 of their next 9 games on the road.
Due to the substantial amount of injuries, this is a team that is clearly offensively challenged but their defensive play should be better than it has been of late.
The positive for the Penguins is that despite a rough stretch, their playoff positioning hasn’t moved one bit. They remain in the No. 4 spot with 74 points and hold a 6 point advantage over No. 5 Washington (68 points) and No. 6 Montreal (68 points).
Pittsburgh is just 3 points out of first place in the Atlantic Division but Philadelphia (77 points) has 3 games in hand.
In the midst of a four game (0-2) road trip, Pittsburgh has returned home and have an off day on Monday as the team looks to regroup.
They will practice on Tuesday at Southpointe and then depart for Denver.
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