The Pittsburgh Penguins faced a tall order in Mike Sullivan’s coaching debut: facing maybe the hottest team in the East, if not the NHL. And it showed.
Despite setting a season-high with 45 shots on goal, the Penguins could only beat Braden Holtby one time as the Washington Capitals nabbed a 4-1 win.
With that, the two teams continue to travel in opposite directions, as this win leaves Washington atop both the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference. They’re now 9-1-1 in their past 11 games.
Holtby was the most obvious problem for the Penguins, yet T.J. Oshie proved to be a nuisance as well. He delivered the check that injured Beau Bennett and then iced the game with two third-period goals.
Many will bury the Penguins for losing again, and to be fair, there were some sloppy moments.
Still, there were signs of spirit from the team, so maybe it’s fairer to label the situation as a work in progress?