The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to bounce back from their first loss in nearly a month when they host the Winnipeg Jets tonight at Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins had their 11-game winning streak halted Sunday in Philadelphia, despite the fact that Pittsburgh carried a 2-0 lead into the third period. The 3-2 overtime setback was the first loss for Dan Bylsma's club since Feb. 19 in Buffalo. It was the longest winning streak in the NHL this season.
The point earned in Sunday's loss moved Pittsburgh within one point of the New York Rangers for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, but the Blueshirts have since extended that lead to three after Monday's win over New Jersey.
Pittsburgh still enters tonight with a seven-game home winning streak intact and the Pens have a spectacular 24-8-2 record as the host this season. Pittsburgh will play two in a row and four of its next five games in the Steel City.
The Pens lost to Philadelphia, which is two points behind fourth-seeded Pittsburgh in the East standings, after Scott Hartnell potted the winner with just 0.9 seconds left in overtime. It was the second goal of the game for Hartnell, who also scored with 4:47 left in regulation to tie the contest at 2-2. The Flyers are also in action tonight, as they host the Florida Panthers.
Craig Adams and Evgeni Malkin netted goals for the Penguins on Sunday, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves in the loss. Sidney Crosby was held without a point after recording five points -- all assists -- in his first two games since returning from head and neck injuries.
"We did some good things, but probably left the back end to it a bit there in the third, but we had our fair share of chances. It's just a matter of executing," Crosby said.
Pittsburgh's opponent tonight is desperate for points, as the Jets continue to battle for a spot in the playoffs. With 76 points, Winnipeg is four behind Washington for the eighth and final postseason berth in the East.
The Jets had won the first two games of a three-game homestand before losing to Carolina in the finale on Sunday. Chad LaRose scored the winner with 1:22 to play in the third period to lift the Hurricanes to the 4-3 victory at MTS Centre.
Antti Miettinen scored twice and Nik Antropov added a goal for the Jets, while Ondrej Pavelec was tagged for all four goals on 35 shots in the loss.
"Didn't like the game, right from the onset," said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel. "I think we got exactly what we deserved. Our best players were not our best players, and theirs were. To me this game went exactly the way you could see it go."
Antropov is questionable for this evening after suffering a lower-body injury on Sunday, while fellow forward Eric Fehr could miss a second straight contest with an upper-body issue.
Beginning with tonight's tilt, the Jets will play three straight and seven of nine on the road, where Winnipeg is just 11-19-4 this season.
Pittsburgh has won two straight over the Jets since losing the opener of this season series in Winnipeg on Oct. 17. The Pens posted an 8-5 victory when Winnipeg visited the Steel City on Feb. 11. Malkin had a five-point night (1 goal, 4 assists) in that rout.