The good under Mike Sullivan has been the Penguins’ ability to come back in hockey games.
What has the Penguins not getting two points out of hockey games they feel they should probably be winning, is having to chase too many hockey games.
That continued in Tuesday night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Penguins fell behind 1-0 with a d-zone breakdown and then 2-0 on a fluky Hurricanes goal.
Under Sullivan the Penguins are 5-6-3, collecting 13 out of a possible 28 points. In those 14 games the opposition has scored the first goal in 10 of the 14. That just can’t continue for a team that doesn’t score enough 5 v 5.
Falling behind has been the Penguins Achilles heel under Sullivan and it’s turning games where the Penguins might be carrying the play into 50-50 games.
In all five wins under Sullivan the Penguins have scored a power play goal in all of them, including multiple power play goals in three of the five wins.
In the six regulation losses the Penguins have scored 0 power play goals in five of them.
There continues to be a major reliance on the power play because of the Penguins struggles to score 5-on-5. Goals for 5-on-5 the Penguins are 27th in the NHL with 58.
The improved possession numbers are nice but the results are still not where they should or need to be.
Latest Buzz out of 3-2 loss to Hurricanes
– The Penguins a team built for 3-on-3, now have a 4-6 overtime record.
– Carolina the NHL’s third youngest team and in a rebuild, moved a point behind the Penguins in the standings. With the shaky goaltending they have received this season, Carolina has to be ecstatic to be where they are in the wildcard hunt.
– Jeff Skinner who the Penguins looked into as a trade target in June, netted the game winning overtime goal and has 16 goals on the season in a bounce back year.
– The Porter – Cullen – Fehr line has been used as the Penguins third line the last couple games. All three players had over 10:00 of ice time at even strength.
– Phil Kessel who has 12 goals and 24 points in 42 games, has just 5 even strength points over his last 18 games.