No luck of the Irish for the Penguins Tuesday night. They lost their third straight game against the New Jersey Devils, who are third-to-last in the Metropolitan Division. Not only did they lose, but they were shut out by the lowly Devils on St. Patrick’s day. 2-0 was the final thanks to an empty-netter with 48 seconds left in the game. Another tough game for the Penguins.
They ran into a hot goalie again. Cory Scheider was superb, stopping all 35 shots that the Penguins managed to fire at him. They faced a sensational Tuuka Rask against Boston and scored just one goal against Detroit’s Petr Mazek in a weekend set against the Bruins and Red Wings.
If you look at the box score alone, it would appear that the Penguins won the game. In stats, they dominated the contest, but the score says different. Despite letting just 19 shots on goaltender Tomas Greiss, the Pens could not pull off a victory.
These contests are games that Pittsburgh needs to win. If they want to get a good seed in the competitive Eastern Conference, they need to take advantage of games against lesser teams like the Devils, even if you don’t have two of your top scorers.
The Penguins were without center Evgeni Malkin and his winger Patric Hornqvist, who are both out another 2-5 games. They will need to adapt to to the absence of Malkin and Hornqvist. If they continue to fail to put up goals, then they can easily fall through the ranks of the aforementioned-mentioned Eastern Conference.
The first goal scored by the Devils, at 16:25 of the second period, was netted by Jacob Josefson, with assists from Michael Ryder and Eric Geilinas. The empty-netter was scored by Adam Henrique, without an assist.
The Penguins mounted a ferocious comeback in the final couple minutes, getting plenty of chances. When they were starting another one of those chances with defenseman Kris Letang speeding into the zone, the puck-carrier appeared to be taken down by a diving Devil. Letang went sprawling to the ice and lost the puck. New Jersey proceeded to grab possession and score the final goal, which would end up being the dagger in a game in which the Penguins never were able to deliver that despite their plentiful chances.