ShareThis Page
Penguins get one last chance to beat last-place Devils | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

Penguins get one last chance to beat last-place Devils

Jonathan Bombulie
| Tuesday, February 19, 2019 1:06 p.m
771662_web1_gtr-pens03-110618
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Devils celebrate Ben Lovejoy’s goal against the Penguins in the first period Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.

NEWARK, N.J. — There is a long list of reasons the Pittsburgh Penguins still find themselves fighting for a playoff spot late into February, but near the top is this: They’re 0-3 against New Jersey this season.

They’ll have one last chance to beat the last-place Devils on Tuesday night in Newark.

“I just think we’ve got to better (than) the games that we’ve played,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “You’ve got to give them credit. They’ve played three really good games against us. We have to be better. It’s just one of those things where Jersey plays a hard, structured game. We understand that’s the type of game we’re up against. Our players are well aware. There’s no surprises out there. We’re well aware of what the challenge is. Now we’ve just got to embrace it.”

It’s easy to theorize that the Penguins have struggled with the Devils because they’re not taking an opponent near the bottom of the standings seriously, but there’s obviously more to it than that.

The Penguins have been outscored 15-6 in their three losses to the Devils. There must be something about New Jersey’s style of play that gives them fits.

“They’re a very patient team,” defenseman Jack Johnson said. “They’ve always been a very patient team since I’ve been in the league. Seems like they’re just fine playing a 1-0, 2-1 game. Lot of times, you get in trouble with teams like that when you do things that are self-inflicted.

“And they’ve had good goaltending against us. I think those are the two biggest things that have caused us some problems.”

Goaltending can’t be overlooked. Keith Kinkaid has been magnificent against the Penguins this season, going 3-0 with a .944 save percentage. He’s 12-17-6 with an .887 save percentage against the rest of the league.

Kinkaid will be opposed by Matt Murray on Wednesday night. Murray is 0-2 with an .831 save percentage against the Devils this season. He’s 17-8-1 with a .919 save percentage against the rest of the league.

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.