The Penguins have gone a respectful 2-1-1 since ending an 18-game losing streak, including Tuesday’s 3-3 tie with the New York Islanders at Mellon Arena. Marc Bergevin ended a 101-game scoring drought by delivering the tying tally with less than two minutes left in regulation as Pittsburgh halted an NHL-record 14-game home losing streak.
“It’s huge,” Pittsburgh winger Tom Kostopoulos said. “We tried to not think too much about it, but it’s in the paper. It’s everywhere. Everyone wanted it to end.”
Bergevin was happy to put a stop to his own streak of offensive futility.
“It came right at me and I didn’t even know it went it,” the 38-year-old Bergevin said of his 36th goal in 1,181 NHL games. “But I saw the replay, and it was a laser beam.”
Pittsburgh has not won at home since a 1-0 victory over Chicago on Dec. 29. The Penguins need four victories in their final 16 games to avoid matching the franchise record for fewest wins (16).
The Predators have much loftier goals in mind as they are locked in a sixth-place tie with Calgary in the Western Conference playoff race. Nashville finished February by winning five of six, but is 0-1-1 thus far in March, including Wednesday’s 5-2 loss in Philadelphia.
“Our defensive coverage was soft,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “Our defensemen were not containing and our centermen were not doing a good job.”
The loss kicked off a stretch in which Nashville will play eight of its next 10 on the road.