Last night's shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets wasn't the ideal outcome but at least it was an effort that produced a point (and a strong one at that). Sure, you can say one point isn't two, but one point is still a point. In fact one point is all that separates Pitt, currently in sixth place, with the Rangers and Hurricanes, both at 78 and tied for eighth.
Once again Florida is right there in 10th place with 77. Had the Penguins lost those last two games against the Panthers then it would be Pitt on the outside looking in.
The Penguins are in the playoffs today and will be in the playoffs tomorrow, as no Eastern Conference teams are on the schedule tonight. But rest assured this weekend is going to be huge.
Ottawa will look to spoil Pittsburgh's playoff chances on Saturday at 3:00. The Pens are 1-2 against the Senators this year, a bit disappointing when you consider the Senators' place in the standings (12th).
The bigger of the two games is easily scheduled for Sunday at 3:00 as the Pens host the Boston Bruins. Pitt is 1-2 against Boston, with their only win coming in a 2-1 shootout back in October.
Ironically enough the Bruins beat the Senators 5-3 on Thursday, allowing them to maintain a six point lead over the Devils for the Conference. However this stands as only their second win in seven games, a slump that Pittsburgh can hopefully capitalize on.
It's not hard to imagine the Penguins can put together a four-game win streak before taking on the Flyers next Sunday. The Thrashers and Kings fill out the remainder of the week and with any luck will only increase the Pens' chances at making the playoffs.
Recently we discussed here on Pensburgh whether we'd know if the Penguins were playoff bound or not by the end of March. There's still a good chance we will, but unless the Penguins win six of their next eighth the race is carrying into April.
And hey, just because the win streak is over the point streak is not. Pitt has picked up 15 points over eight games. Who's to say they can't keep that alive?