Steven Stamkos may have been the first to 50 goals, but Evgeni Malkin was the first to 100 points.
Malkin scored his 47th goal and 100th point of the season with 1:31 left in last night’s 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders. Malkin could very well be the only player to score 100 points this season, despite missing the first eight games of the year.
Stamkos is second in the NHL with 91 points and just five games remaining. Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux has 86 points.
Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing arguably their worst hockey of the season at the worst possible time. The team just dropped two more-than-winnable games with the New York Islanders in a span of three nights and now sit five points behind the New York Rangers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference with five games remaining.
Marc-Andre Fleury allowed at least four goals in each of the Islanders games after doing so just five times all season. While Fleury’s play has been undeniably shaky, fans blaming him for the team’s struggles are wrong.
This losing is a group effort– or lack thereof.
I haven’t seen the Penguins pay this little attention to both defense or detail in years. Sloppy line changes, bad turnovers and irresponsibility in the defensive zone have plagued the Penguins these last two games. I even saw Jordan Staal lose his man in the defensive zone tonight resulting in Kyle Okposo‘s second goal. Has that ever happened before?
In all likelihood, the Penguins have squandered their shot at the number one seed and will meet the Philadelphia Flyers in the opening round of the playoffs. I can tell you right now, that’s not what Penguins fans wanted.
Pittsburgh will now travel to Buffalo to take on the scorching Sabres tonight at 7:30 PM. The Penguins need to turn it around in the worst way if they want to carry any momentum into the playoffs.
The Flyers are just two points behind the Penguins and could gain home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs if they overtake the Penguins for the fourth seed in the conference.
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