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Islanders, Penguins look to end losing streak
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The Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders will be vying for more than just a win when they meet Saturday at PPG Paints Arena. Both clubs will be pushing for a turnaround.The Penguins  have lost three straight games by a combined 17-11, including an 8-4 pasting Thursday at Boston, and have watched Philadelphia move up to displace them in second place in the tight Metropolitan Division.The Islanders  gave up three straight goals in the third period in a 6-3 loss Friday at Montreal, their fifth loss in a row , a skid that has left them clamoring to try to get into a wild-card spot in the East. They are four points behind Columbus for that last playoff slot in the conference.Article continues below ...Pittsburgh cooled after starting the calendar year 17-5-1. It had won six straight before its three-game skid.Last week, we were winning and we had all the confidence in the world, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang said. We hit a rough patch, and we just have to regroup and play better, play harder defensively, and things will take care of themselves.Pittsburgh has struggled defensively and with puck management.We feel as though these things are correctable, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. We went through a long stretch where we played extremely well, and we got results for a reason. Weve just got to make sure that we hit the reset button and we get back to our game.The Islanders might be a good place to start https://www.penguinsfansteamstore.com/Ma..._Jersey-16.Pittsburgh is 6-1-1 in the teams past eight meetings and 4-0-1 in its past five home games against New York. Center Sidney Crosby has a 12-game point streak against the Islanders, with eight goals and 22 points.On the flip side, the Penguins are expected to be without No. 1 goaltender Matt Murray for the third straight game because of a concussion. He skated in full gear but did not face shots on Friday before the rest of the team practiced.Letang does not want to pin Pittsburgh defensive shortcomings on rookie backup goalies Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith.Were not a big, physical team, but we still have to defend, Letang said. That last week  that what we did. That why we had so much success. We were defending really well. We were fast. We were not necessarily being really physical, but we were finishing our hits and we were removing people from the puck Matt Hunwick Jersey.I think we have to go back to that, go back to basics. Right now Tom Barrasso Jersey, obviously, guys are able to score goals.  is going to come if we play well defensively.The Islanders, in trying to shake loose from their streak, have been shuffling line combinations.In good times and in bad times, I think that necessary, New York coach Doug Weight said. Sometimes that brings a spark and a little chemistry.Islanders leading scorer Mathew Barzal, who had two goals and three assists during a three-game point streak entering Friday game, was held without a point and was a minus-3.I think were all right in here, New York defenseman Ryan Pulock told NHL. Were in a very important part of the year here where this next week is kind of  we have to win, that the bottom line.
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