Penguins Wrap: Urgency = Resurgence in Critical Week
The Pittsburgh Penguins were in a bad way a week ago.
They had just lost the third of what would be four consecutive defeats, a 6-0 thrashing at Madison Square Garden.
Something clearly had to change if their playoff hopes were to remain viable.
And it did.
Here’s a look back at a stretch that might prove to be the salvation of their season.
The Penguins have lost three games in a row, but aren’t showing any signs of being terribly upset about it.
With three consecutive bad losses and only 13 games remaining in the regular season, the Penguins are facing some tough realities. (+)
You have questions. Dan Kingerski has answers. The perfect formula for a video Q&A.
It’s unlikely that most of the Penguins had heard of Ottawa goalie Dylan Ferguson before facing him in his first NHL start. They know him a lot better after he stopped 48 of 49 shots in the Senators’ 2-1 victory at PPG Paints Arena, knocking the Penguins out of the Eastern Conference playoff field.
Bryan Rust is ultra-harsh on himself after his failed clearing attempt results in Ottawa’s game-winning goal. Never mind that he was in agony after just blocking a shot with his hand.
The Penguins understand that the fan base is angry about the way they’ve been playing lately, but they insist they’re not rattled by how badly things have gone for them of late.
Why did Mike Sullivan go back to Tristan Jarry for the Ottawa game after he’d been pulled in three of his previous six starts?
The Penguins’ offense did plenty of good things against the Senators. Just not the one thing that matters most. (+)
Marcus Pettersson goes on the Long-Term Injured list and defenseman Taylor Fedun is recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Penguins’ shooting percentage would rise if opposing goalies weren’t able to get a good look at most of the shots they face. (+)
Injured defenseman Jeff Petry participates in the Penguins’ practice in Denver, but goalie Casey DeSmith does not.
The Penguins’ renewed commitment pays off in a 5-2 victory against defending champion Colorado in Denver.
Jeff Carter has been the target of a lot of criticism for his lackluster play this season, but in the aftermath of his two-goal game against the Avalanche, says he “couldn’t care less” what is written about him.
Strong play for the second game in a row suggests that the Pittsburgh Penguins just might be onto something good. (+)
Before the game, it is suggested that how the Penguins perform against Colorado will be a good indication of how much heart they have.
Sidney Crosby’s peers in the NHL Players Association again recognize him as the league’s most complete player.
Despite their third spirited, focused effort in four days, the Penguins lose, 3-2, in Dallas.
A lot of Penguins did a lot of things well against the Stars, even if they didn’t get a point or two to show for it. (+)
Tristan Jarry, who has had several lost-time injuries since being hurt in the Winter Classic Jan. 2, suffered another in the victory at Colorado, leading to an emergency recall of Dustin Tokarski.
Bryan Rust offered a pretty harsh critique of a goal he failed to score in Dallas.
Sidney Crosby has been in the Stanley Cup playoffs every year since missing them as a rookie, so he understands — and appreciates — how difficult it is to qualify for them.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been playing well lately. The way they should have a lot more often this season. (+)
Evgeni Malkin could have been one of the heels if his third-period penalty helped Washington overcome a 3-0 deficit. Instead, he became a hero for the Penguins.
Malkin’s assessment that there was “lots of drama” in the third period of the Penguins’ victory was as on-target as his game-winning shot.
Casey DeSmith made 31 saves, some of them spectacular, but one stood out above the others.
Josh Archibald doesn’t fight very often, but his bout with Capitals defenseman Rasmus Sandin is one he’s likely to remember.
There have been times this season when the Penguins have allowed opponents to abuse some of their most important players. Mark Friedman says he wouldn’t tolerate that.
Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke made a national TV appearance in Canada in support of Pride Nights in the NHL.
Good news for Tristan Jarry, as he participates in the Penguins’ full-team workout at their game-day skate.