NHL

Penguins fire coach Mike Johnston after slow start; Mike Sullivan takes over as coach

  • Pittsburgh Penguins' Mike Johnston, left, listens to assistant coach Rick Tocchet as he gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Pittsburgh Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. The Kings won 3-2 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    Pittsburgh Penguins' Mike Johnston, left, listens to assistant coach Rick Tocchet as he gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Pittsburgh Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. The Kings won 3-2 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2015,  file photo Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Johnston, center, stands behind Sidney Crosby (87), and Phil Kessel (81) during the first period of an exhibition NHL hockey game against Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh.  The Penguins fired Johnston and assistant Gary Agnew on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, with the high-profile team languishing in the middle of the pack in the crowded Metropolitan Division.  Mike Sullivan, who was head coach of the Boston Bruins from 2003-06 and was serving as the coach of Pittsburgh’s affiliate in the American Hockey League, replaces Johnston.  (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2015, file photo Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Johnston, center, stands behind Sidney Crosby (87), and Phil Kessel (81) during the first period of an exhibition NHL hockey game against Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh. The Penguins fired Johnston and assistant Gary Agnew on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, with the high-profile team languishing in the middle of the pack in the crowded Metropolitan Division. Mike Sullivan, who was head coach of the Boston Bruins from 2003-06 and was serving as the coach of Pittsburgh’s affiliate in the American Hockey League, replaces Johnston. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Pittsburgh Penguins' slow start cost Mike Johnston his job.

The Penguins fired Johnston and assistant Gary Agnew on Saturday morning with the high-profile team languishing in the middle of the pack in the crowded Metropolitan Division.

Mike Sullivan, who was head coach of the Boston Bruins from 2003-06 and was serving as the coach of Pittsburgh's affiliate in the American Hockey League, replaces Johnston.

General manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement the Penguins and their star-filled roster that includes former MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have underachieved.

Pittsburgh, which lost to Los Angeles in a shootout on Friday night, is 15-10-3 and in fifth place in the Metropolitan entering Saturday. The Penguins are 28th in scoring.

Johnston went 58-37-15 during his brief stint with Pittsburgh.