March 25, 2017, 1:50 PM ET [13 Comments]
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The Penguins haven't won in a couple of games, but they continue to take standings points by making it to overtime with their more than depleted roster. Last night it was Scott Wilson's turn to miss a game as he has been nursing a lower body injury.
Last night the Penguins lost in the shootout by a score of 3-2. It was a deserving result. The desperate Islanders were the better team.
Sidney Crosby scored his 42nd goal of the year on a rebound to distance himself from the surging Nikita Kucherov who has 38 goals.
Unless Crosby hits a real dry spell again he is looking good for the Rocket Richard Trophy. Crosby remains five points behind Connor McDavid. Catching McDavid is going to be a tall task. With all the injuries the Penguins have the team is asking quite a lot out of Sid these days and when you combine that with the struggling power play the odds of catching Connor are very low.
It's been about a decade since we have heard a goal announcement in Pittsburgh "assisted by #66". Josh Ho-Sang played his first game in Pittsburgh while wearing Mario's legendary number. He finished the game with one assist and some spattered boos. The fans booing Ho-Sang for his jersey number come from the same lot of fans that have booed Jagr over the years. Mario doesn't care and neither should you.
File this next item with areas where the fans care about something more than the players themselves
Marc-Andre Fleury played well enough for the Penguins to win last night. However, the NHL's career leader in shootout percentage has had a cold streak lately. Fleury has only saved four out of the last eight shootout attempts that have come his way. Throughout Fleury's ups and downs over the year his ability to stop breakaways has never wavered. It has always been a true strength for him.
Eugene Melnyk shot off his mouth again. He is one of the worst owners in the sport. He said that Crosby was a whiner that needed to be suspended for a long time. This time around Melnyk did not announce that CSI Ottawa would be conducting an investigation into Crosby's whining but CSI TSN did their own investigation into Melnyk's glass house
Cameron Gaunce scored his first goal in nearly five years last night while adding an assist. Those are the kinds of things it is going to take for Pittsburgh to be competitive right now. The lineup is a shell of its former self.
Phil Kessel only has one goal in his last 18 games. That is obviously not great. He did add two assists last night and did his best to try and score in overtime
Phil did a great job of understanding the game situation and how he could utilize his skill set. We've seen plenty of guys leave the offensive zone when their linemates need a change during 3 on 3 overtime action. I don't think we've seen a guy leave intentionally with the purpose of trying to walk the entire team multiple times on a single shift. That was very fun.
The Penguins play the Flyers tomorrow evening. We'll see if any of the injured players returns to the lineup.