Pens-Devils Post Game Buzz
The Pittsburgh PenguinsÂ (21-15-4, 46 pts) dropped their fourth straight game tonight, losing to the New Jersey Devils (23-16-2, 48 pts) 3-1, and frustrations inside the Penguins locker room is starting to become evident.
Pittsburgh continues to be plagued by mental mistakes on a nightly basis such as giving up a shorthanded goal for the second straight night…..Not winning the little battles such as seeing your $5 million a year defenseman getting beat to a puck off the faceoff and the puck is in the Penguins net seconds later….. Seeing the team’s $4 million a year defenseman getting caught wondering and watching the puck, leaving his man in front of the net wide open on the penalty kill for the Devils third goal of the game…… Subpar goaltending….. and the inability to score goals as Pittsburgh is averaging 1.25 goals per game during their four game losing streak.
“One goal isn’t cutting it, ” winger James Neal said. Pittsburgh has failed to score more than one goal in three consecutive games.Â Neal, the Penguins leader with 21 goals, is pointless in his last four games. “We’re coming out and dictating the way we want to play and putting pucks on net and going to the net. “It’s obviously frustrating, but we know we’re a better team than this, ” Neal said.
The Penguins who usally get the day off after back-to-back games, will be practicing tomorrow morning as the team has scheduled a practice. Don’t look for Bylsma to pull a Herb Brooks making his team skate Herbies and go through a grueling practiceÂ as Bylsma appears to remain calm and was pleased again with his teams’ ability to dictate the play at times, which Bylsma seems to feel the team hasÂ in the Penguins four straight losses to division foes.
AUDIO LINK: Dan Bylsma Post-Game Audio
Evgeni Malkin scored the Penguins only goal, his 16th of the season for his first goal in seven games.
Orpik calls out team
Defenseman Brooks Orpik, an excellent leader in the Penguins room who often says how it is, had some interesting comments tonight.
“Thereâs so much parity in the league right now,â Orpik said in his post-game comments as a Capitals win tonight will bump the Penguins to 9th place in the East. The Penguins put up 42 shots, outshooting New Jersey 42-27, but it’s the high percentage shots and getting consistent traffic in front of the net that were missing tonight. âYou can play well but with the way the standings are right now, a team can really outshoot you bad…. but as long as you win, it doesnât really matter, â Orpik said.
AUDIO LINK: Brooks Orpik
Orpik had some harsh words on the teams lack of accountability and the team not scoring goals. “The accountability in this room has got to be a lot better, ” Orpik said via Josh Yohe of the Trib. “Another dumb penalty, ” Orpik said about Evgeni Malkin when asked directly about Malkin’s third period penalty that led to the Devils third goal of the game. The accountability has got to be a lot better.”
“One goal’s not going to do it, ” Orpik said. “You can pick apart every goal they get but one goal isn’t going to do it.”(credit: Josh Yohe of the Trib)
I can’t imagine Orpik calling out Sidney Crosby for what he feels is a bad penalty. I will leave it at that.
Devils continue dominance on PK
The New Jersey Devils use their star players on the penalty kill and they have been outscored 5-on-4 (PK) by just a 10-7 margin. They struck tonight with their seventh shorthanded goal.
âShort-handed goals have been a weapon for us all year, thankfully,â Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said. âOur penalty killing has been great and weâve found a way to score short-handed goals. Itâs been a big part of our success this year.â
AUDIO LINK: Devils coach Peter DeBoer