Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/26/14 at 11:19 AM ET
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Greiss and the Coyotes prevented the Pittsburgh Penguins from clinching a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, which they would have secured with a win. We have no doubt the Pens will lock up a playoff spot soon and their seat atop the Metropolitan Division does not seem at risk -- they lead the second-place Rangers by 13 points -- but dropping five of the last seven games is no way to build momentum rounding the final turn before the playoffs.
The loss was also goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's fifth straight; he has not recorded a win since a 32-save shutout against Washington on March 11. Fleury (34-17-4, 2.37 GAA, .915 SV PCT) has had a strong regular season for the Pens, but the last thing they need is his confidence to start waning now. He remains one of the biggest question marks for the Pens this spring. You have to wonder if he's been rattled by this recent stretch, having surrendered 16 goals in his last five starts.
read on for Burnside on the Coyotes, Custance on Tim Sassone and LeBrun on the Eastern Conference wild card race...
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