TAMPA, Fla. — When Penguins president of hockey operations Kyle Dubas sat down Tuesday in Tampa with broadcaster Josh Getzoff for his weekly radio show, Dubas said Wednesday would be critical of his floundering club.
Following a frustrating loss in Philadelphia, this game would “be instructive to how we dictate the course of where we go in the second half of the year.”
Well, if Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning really was an indication, the only excitement this spring will be the NHL’s annual draft lottery.
They responded to Dubas’ candid public comments with another sloppy, uninspired performance. They were outplayed in all three phases at Amalie Arena.
The Penguins didn’t score on Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy until the final minute, making it seven times in 11 games they scored two or fewer.
Pittsburgh’s penalty kill is starting to show some cracks after its stellar stretch. The team has given up a power-play tally in three of the last four. Wednesday was the first time they had allowed multiple power-play goals since Nov. 4.
Their power play is still a mess. They went 0 for 4 on Wednesday as their scoreless skid on the man advantage reached 12 games, the longest in team history.
Tristan Jarry didn’t bail them out this time. He gave up a couple of iffy goals.
So, yeah, the new team president probably didn’t leave this arena pleased.
The Penguins were coming off back-to-back losses to the rival Philadelphia Flyers, who displayed more speed, determination and focus. Wednesday’s loss was more of the same, and it dropped them to 3-5-3 in their last 11 games.
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