Penguins insist they’re not ‘mad at each other’

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The Pittsburgh Penguins did some clarifying today.

Or maybe it was damage control.

Regardless, they insist they’re not “mad at each other,” as Evgeni Malkin expressed Saturday after a 4-0 loss to New Jersey.

“It’s a little bit not what I want to say,” Malkin said, per NHL.com’s Wes Crosby. “It’s not mad at each other. … It’s just the game. We don’t like how we play.”

Sidney Crosby added that he spoke to Malkin and believes his teammate was misunderstood.

“He did not mean we are mad at each other,” said Crosby. “He meant we are frustrated.”

Understandable. The Penguins have lost three of their last four. Though they’re 10-7-0 on the season, if not for the play of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, their record would undoubtedly look worse. Offensively — the supposed strength of the roster — it has been a serious struggle.

Pittsburgh plays its next four games at home, starting tomorrow versus Minnesota.

And the Penguins would be wise to find their form soon, because in December the schedule turns tough, with eight games out of 14 on the road.