The Pittsburgh Penguins are desperate for a regulation win, but they might have to get it without one of their top forwards.
Pittsburgh lost 2-0 to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, falling to 0-3-1-1 over its last five games.
“We had our chances and we didn’t cash in on them,” Pittsburgh coach Ed Olczyk said. “Anytime you play against the defending Stanley Cup champions, it certainly is a tough task.”
The Penguins have scored just nine goals (1.8 per game) over the last five games, including four in a 7-4 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Dec. 20. They have scored just 73 goals this season, the second-lowest total in the Eastern Conference.
Part of the problem recently has been Pittsburgh’s special teams, which have allowed seven power-play goals in the last four games while going 0-for-16 on the man advantage over the last six.
“We talked about being disciplined at the start of the game, and it came back to bite us,” Penguins winger Steve McKenna said Saturday.
The loss to the Devils was especially costly as Morozov injured his left shoulder during the first period. The 26-year-old right wing, who missed practice Sunday, is third on the team with 11 assists and fourth with 16 points, but has failed to score a goal in 19 games.
“We’ll know more tomorrow, but we had to give a couple guys the day off just to rest,” Olczyk said Sunday. “He got treatments done and stuff, so well see how he’s feeling.”
The Penguins recalled winger Eric Meloche from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Sunday.
The Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 on Sunday—just their third win in 23 games.