An ability to win on the road with consistency is vital to the success of any team hoping to make the postseason. The Pittsburgh Penguins road success has them leading their division at the halfway point of the 2013 season, as they continue to get huge offensive support from their top line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis.
The Penguins got their fourth consecutive win and 11th road win of the season Saturday night as they outlasted the Toronto Maple Leafs in the shootout. It was the fourth straight game that the Penguins’ offense has been called upon to score four or more goals, and the top line once again accounted for half of the team’s scoring. James Neal netted his team-leading 16th goal of the season and defenseman Paul Martin had a two-point night in his second game since returning from injury but the night once again belonged to Pittsburgh’s top line.
Crosby’s goal was his third in four games and he has nine points during the Penguins’ four-game win streak. Dupuis’ goal was his second in as many games, as he continues to thrive while playing with Crosby and Kunitz. The win over the Maple Leafs marked the end of a five-game goal scoring streak for Kunitz but he still has five goals and is a plus-6 in four games this month. Goal scoring is a big part of getting road wins, and the Penguins certainly seem to have no problem getting their offense going lately.
The other key to road success is goaltending, and Marc-Andre Fleury may not be putting up the best stats during this mini-streak but he is doing enough to help his team win. Fleury and Tomas Vokoun each have a pair of wins to their credit in the past four games, and that kind of balance will go a long way to keeping both netminders sharp for the rest of the season. Eight of the Penguins road wins have come with Fleury in net as he continues to stand tall against the rest of the Eastern Conference. Five of the Penguins’ next six games are at home, so now it is time to see if they can keep their win streak alive in the Steel City.