John Tavares had some choice words for his New York Islanders teammates following a 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday, calling them out for picking the wrong time of year to underperform.
"We went out there and got embarrassed because we didn't play hard enough. This time of year, that is unacceptable," he told reporters. "Everyone has to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves how much they want it."
It's a sentiment shared by head coach Jack Capuano, who appears to have Tavares' back.
While the Islanders continue to hold the Eastern Conference's first wild-card spot, Philadelphia is two points back, with Detroit - a team on the outside looking in - only four points away.
Tavares' squad has posted a record of 4-5-1 in its last 10 games, and have five contests remaining on the regular-season schedule to gain some positive momentum.
It was the 11th win in 12 games for the Penguins, who announced starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had suffered his second concussion of the season hours before puck drop. Murray filled in admirably to record his first NHL shutout.
The Penguins' incredible run to a playoff spot was accomplished, for the most part, without star forward Evgeni Malkin - who's missed the team's past 11 games with an upper-body injury.
The victory also increased Pittsburgh's cushion over the New York Rangers to three points in the race for second in the Metropolitan Division, boosting the Penguins' odds of grabbing home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
The other two Penguins to reach the milestone are two of the greatest players to take the ice in NHL history - Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr.
The helper extended the 28-year-old's personal point streak to five games and he now has points in 17 of his last 18 outings, only held off the scoresheet in a shutout loss to New Jersey Devils on March 24.
A Penguins win on Saturday would clinch the franchise's tenth consecutive playoff berth.
While on a power play, Berube's attempted pass to defenseman Nick Leddy went straight to the stick of Penguins forward Oskar Sundqvist, who took the puck and wristed home a short-handed tally for the first goal of his NHL career.
Matt Murray started in goal for the Penguins, who are without Marc-Andre Fleury after he was diagnosed with his second concussion of the season.
TORONTO - Nazem Kadri vehemently disagrees with the diving label he's been tagged with by the National Hockey League.
The Maple Leafs centre has drawn US$5,000 worth of fines this season, the latest coming Friday for his third separate instan...
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has a concussion and did not travel to New York for Saturday's game against the Islanders.
Coach Mike Sullivan said before the game that Fleury was not feeling well Friday and ...
The timing of the fine was noteworthy, since Monday the Maple Leafs' leading scorer told reporters, "I've never once been fined even for embellishing or diving and I've been around a little while now."
He took particular exception to an embellishment call from a March 21 game against the Calgary Flames when he went down after taking a slash from forward Josh Jooris.
"I looked at that particular play again. The guy wound up so far his stick was out of the frame. I couldn't see it anymore," Kadri said, according to Jonas Siegel of the Canadian Press. "Not to mention the massive welt on the back of my leg after the fact.
"Whoever's making that decision I'd like to see them take one of those without padding and see how it feels. I don't know how I'm supposed to react."
Head coach Mike Babcock spoke out in defense of Kadri on Sunday, saying league officials must have received a memo not to call infractions against the forward.