The Rink Report: Pens on two-game skid after loss to Hurricanes

Written By Anthony Cugini, Sports Columnist

The Pittsburgh Penguins lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Sunday, Feb. 20. The Pens have now lost back-to-back games after losing 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, Feb. 17.

Before losing their last two games, the Penguins took down the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in overtime in a back and forth game. Pittsburgh went into the third period with a deficit of 4-2 against Philadelphia. Jake Guentzel and Chad Ruhwedel each scored goals just 18 seconds apart to tie the game.

Kris Letang was the hero for the Pens as he put a wrist shot past Flyers goaltender Carter Hart to score the game winning goal in overtime.

Earlier in the game, Penguin captain Sidney Crosby scored his 500th goal of his career on the power play to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. This puts Crosby second all-time in Penguins history in goals scored, trailing only Mario Lemieux.

Both of the Penguins recent losses come to two of the better teams in the league. It seems as if the Penguins aren’t quite good enough at the moment to beat the best teams in hockey. If Pittsburgh wants to make a run in the playoffs, they’ll need to win games against the top teams in the NHL.

Sidney Crosby continued his hot streak as he sent a slap shot under the left arm of Carolina goalie Antti Raanta to score his second goal in his last three games. Bryan Rust also stays hot as he picked up a goal and an assist against the Hurricanes.

Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry hasn’t missed a beat after the All-star break as he almost, single handedly, kept the Penguins in the game against Carolina.

With the trade deadline coming up on Monday, March 21st, Pittsburgh has plenty of time to make a move to get them over the hump. Though it seems there hasn’t been much discussion about Pittsburgh making a potential move before the deadline. If Pittsburgh were to make a move, they’ll most likely look to trade for a defenseman as John Marino has struggled as of late. Pittsburgh may not look to replace Marino as they may just want to add depth in case any of their current six were to get injured down the stretch.

The Penguins now sit second in the Metropolitan division, two points behind the Hurricanes. Though the New York Rangers aren’t far behind Pittsburgh.

The Pens next game is Thursday, Feb. 24, as they host the New Jersey Devils. Pittsburgh recently took down the Devils 4-2 and they’ll look to do the same to snap the two game skid. After their game against New Jersey, they’ll host the Rangers for an important divisional matchup on Saturday, Feb. 26.