They clinched a playoff spot, and then they started to slide.
Call it being comfortable, or whatever else you like, but the playoffs are rising, and the Penguins are falling. Since the team clinched a playoff spot with a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators March 22, the team lost four of its following six games.
The backup goalie situation looks like it has finally fixed itself with a healthy Brent Johnson returning to his form of brilliance last season. This could not have come a moment too soon.
With the Penguins poised to play the first playoff round against Philadelphia, and the two teams playing each other in the last game of season, making the game important in multiple ways.
The 4 p.m. match up will be a game that could possibly decide which team gets the home ice advantage and momentum going into the series, both things Pittsburgh would like in their favor.
For the Penguins to have any shot at advancing to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs they must fix the cracks that have begun to show. Poor defense, giveaways and breakaways on the power play are just some of the problems the Penguins have faced in their last few games.
Pittsburgh needs to fix the issues before heading into the playoffs. The Flyers are a tough opponent, even when the team is playing at its finest. The Penguins need to focus on having a strong defensive game, making tape-to-tape passes and overall getting back to their style of hockey. It’s clear that when team is playing its system, they are almost unstoppable.
Regardless of the final score of Saturday’s game, this playoff series has the makings of being the best one of the first round.