TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pens' offensive woes continue in loss to Devils

AP - Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur makes a save on a shot by Penguins forward Chris Kunitz as he is being checked by Peter Harrold during the first period Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur makes a save on a shot by Penguins forward Chris Kunitz as he is being checked by Peter Harrold during the first period Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Getty Images - Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stops a shot during the second period against the Devils on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stops a shot during the second period against the Devils on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Getty Images - The Penguins' Jussi Jokinen tries to keep the puck as the Devils' Mark Fayne defends Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Jussi Jokinen tries to keep the puck as the Devils' Mark Fayne defends Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Getty Images - The Penguins' Deryk Engelland skates the puck around the net past the Devls' Michael Ryder on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Deryk Engelland skates the puck around the net past the Devls' Michael Ryder on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Getty Images - The Devils' Mark Fayne clears the puck past the Penguins' Tanner Glass on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Devils' Mark Fayne clears the puck past the Penguins' Tanner Glass on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Getty Images - Penguins forward Chris Kunitz celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench during the second period against the Devils on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Penguins forward Chris Kunitz celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench during the second period against the Devils on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
AP - Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury forces the Devils' Steve Bernier to shoot the puck wide on a breakaway during the second period oSaturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury forces the Devils' Steve Bernier to shoot the puck wide on a breakaway during the second period oSaturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Newark, N.J.
AP - The Devils' Jaromir Jagr handles the puck as he is checked by Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen during the second period Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>The Devils' Jaromir Jagr handles the puck as he is checked by  Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen during the second period Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Newark, N.J.
Getty Images - The Penguins' Sidney Crosby looks for an opening against the Devils on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Sidney Crosby looks for an opening against the Devils on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Getty Images - The Devils' Peter Harrold tries to keep the puck from the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Devils' Peter Harrold tries to keep the puck from the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Penguins/NHL Videos

Dirty dozen

A look at the Penguins over their last 12 games:

Record: 5-7-0

Goals: 25

Goals against: 28

Games with a goal or less: 6

Games allowing 2 goals or fewer: 8

Rob Rossi podcasts

  • Loading...
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 9:36 p.m.
 

NEWARK, N.J. — This is what a funk looks like: Evgeni Malkin planted in the blue paint of the goal crease but the puck moving the other way instead of behind Martin Brodeur — and that becomes the eventual losing goal.

“We've had chances the last five games,” right winger James Neal said after the Penguins bested Brodeur with only one of 28 shots in a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Prudential Center.

“The puck's not going in the net, obviously. The chances are there. We've got to bear down and put the puck in the net and score more than once. That's it.”

The loss looked like so many of their seven defeats in 12 games since opening the season 7-1-0.

They dominated early, generating 16 shot attempts to the Devils' 13 — five of which New Jersey had blocked, another five it missed on.

Still, the Devils led 1-0 after the first period on a goal from defenseman Andy Greene. The Devils led 2-1 after the second period on a goal from defenseman Adam Larsson.

That goal finished a rush that was started with Malkin standing in the crease, looking for a puck he expected to be anywhere but going the other way on an odd-man rush for the Devils.

Malkin has not scored a goal in 13 games, the worst stretch of his eight-year career, one that has included two scoring titles, an MVP in the regular season and playoffs, and the Stanley Cup.

The Penguins have scored only 25 goals in their past 12 games, and they are averaging only 2.66 through 21 games.

They averaged an NHL-best 3.38 goals per game in 48 contests during a lockout-shortened last season.

This actually is not the worst 21-game start of coach Dan Bylsma's tenure.

The 2009-10 campaign, Bylsma's first full season, opened with the Penguins scoring 57 goals in their first 21 games. Their average goals (2.71) was better then, but the Penguins scored two or fewer goals seven times over that span, including three losses by a shutout and three in which they marked only once.

These Penguins (12-8-0, 24 points) have lost four of five games and scored a goal apiece in each of those defeats.

Tension is considerably lacking — center Brandon Sutter says so, anyway — for a club that has so many guys struggling so much.

Left winger Chris Kunitz snapped a modest four-game goal drought with his ninth against the Devils.

However, captain Sidney Crosby has one goal in 10 games and is without a multiple-point game in eight contests. Malkin had his streak of six games with at least an assist snapped.

Right wingers Pascal Dupuis and James Neal have combined to score four goals, though Neal has played in only five games.

Still, right winger Jaromir Jagr matched half of their total against the Penguins, beating goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with about four minutes remaining in regulation and scoring into an empty net in the final seconds.

Those goals made the Devils one of only four of the Penguins' past 12 opponents to score more than twice.

The Penguins have allowed an average of 2.33 goals over the past dozen games, but the woeful offense has failed to capitalize on that defensive prowess.

Crosby noted an opportunity in this loss to claim two points by winning a close game in the third period. His club attempted 15 shots. Only three were blocked and just one was missed.

The Penguins forced Brodeur to make 12 saves — a building block, perhaps, for a group that could use a boost.

“I don't know if that's been a common thing,” Crosby said, “but we certainly had our fair amount of chances.”

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. LaBar: Is Brock Lesnar leaving WWE again?
  2. Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
  3. Teacher conduct under spotlight in Pennsylvania
  4. Pitt’s NCAA Tournament hopes take a hit with loss to Wake Forest
  5. Leechburg man charged with molesting girls, watching child pornography
  6. McCandless site set for Wal-Mart supercenter store
  7. Power play shines in Penguins’ home victory over Blue Jackets
  8. Penguins notebook: Pouliot dazzles in victory over Blue Jackets
  9. 2 W.Va. coal operators sentenced in scheme
  10. Icy roads causing multiple accidents Sunday evening
  11. Deadly bacteria release spurs concern at Louisiana lab