Pens get another valuable point: Another overtime loss for Pittsburgh but the Penguins gained yet another valuable point in Friday’s 2-1 OT loss to the New Jersey Devils.
With the win, New Jersey (29-31-4, 62pts) improved to 19-2-2 in their last 23 games and have moved 9 points out of a playoff spot.
The Penguins (37-21-8, 82pts) enter Saturday night’s game against the Boston Bruins, with a two point lead over the Washington Capitals (35-20-10, 80pts) for the No. 4 seed.
Last regulation win: With 16 games remaining, the Penguins remain in great position for a playoff berth, despite their last regulation win being over a month ago.
Pittsburgh’s last regulation win was on February 4th, in a 3-2 win at home over the Buffalo Sabres. Pittsburgh has yet to win in regulation since Evgeni Malkin tore his MCL and ACL in that game.
Scoring Woes: Pittsburgh is 3-6-4 in their last 13 games and have scored 2 goals or less in 9 of those 13 games.
Kennedy Streaking: Winger Tyler Kennedy continues to be one of the Penguins few bright spots offensively. Kennedy netted his 15 goal of the season last night, beating Marty Brodeur with a wrister just inside the right circles.
Kennedy has 8 goals in his last 14 games and is on pace for a career season.
Pens player slumps:
*James Neal has 0 goals in his first 5 games with Pittsburgh and 1 goal in his last 15 games.
*Pascal Dupuis has 1 goal in his last 17 games
*Jordan Staal has 1 goal in his last 9 games
*Kris Letang has 1 goal in his last 22 games
*Max Talbot has 1 goal in his last 14 games and 2 goals in his last 40 games.
A few numbers that may surprise fans:
*You wouldn’t think it but defensive defenseman Zbynek Michalek has a team-worst plus/minus rating of minus-9.
*In 9 NHL seasons, Craig Adams has been a minus-player for 7 of 9 seasons, with his only plus seasons coming in 2001-2002 when he played in just 33 games (+2) and in 2005-2006 (+1).
Adams who is a minus-6 in 64 games this season, is on pace to record his 8th minus season and is a minus-59 in his career. Since the 2006-2007 season, Adams has a plus/minus rating of minus-39.
*Excluding last night’s game when he was ejected in the first period, Kris Letang has been a minus player in 9 straight games and is a minus-13 in his last 23 games.
Playoff Picture (As of 3/5/2011)
1. Philadelphia (40-17-6, 86pts) vs 8. Carolina (31-26-9, 71pts)
2. Boston (38-19-7, 83pts) vs 7. New York Rangers (34-29-4, 72pts)
3. Tampa Bay (37-20-7, 81pts) vs 6. Montreal (35-23-7, 77pts)
4. Pittsburgh (37-21-8, 82pts) vs 5. Washington (35-20-10, 80pts)
Where the Penguins stand: As things are shaping up, the Penguins should finish in the 4-6 slot, with the three most likely teams Pittsburgh could face in the first round being Washington, Montreal or Tampa Bay.
*The Washington Capitals have the head-to-head tiebreaker against Pittsburgh, winning the season series 3-1.
*Montreal leads the season series against Pittsburgh 2-1. The teams meet for the final time this season in Pittsburgh on March 12th.
*Pittsburgh leads the season series against Tampa Bay, 2-1. The final meeting is on March 31st in Tampa Bay.