With the season up to date being filled with inconsistency, the Pens game in Washington tomorrow has all the senses of being a statement game.
After another blown lead, the Penguins find themselves sitting just outside of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Tomorrow, an opportunity for a statement game, the Pens will be in Washington to play a Capitals team that is on fire as of late, winners of their past 5 games and showing no signs of slowing down.
Matt Murray is finally back, and will be looking to create some sort of consistency for a group of goaltenders that has been anything but for the past few seasons. After a solid start a few games back, where he recorded 38 saves in a win over the Kings, the Pens will look to him in this big game as a way to establish himself once again. When you got a team playing like the Penguins have so far this year, it is always important to look and try to find sparks on the team, guys that are going to get things moving.
The fact of the matter is that it seems every year the Penguins find themselves in this position early in the season. But, as we have seen so many times before, they always find a way to pick up the pace and make a run when it counts. Tomorrow would be a great place to get that big win that starts this sort of spark, but regardless there is still a long season left to go.
Last season the Pens struggled on the road, but this year have done a solid job, boasting a 6-5-4 record on opposing ice. If they can keep up that sort of production on the road, they will be in good shape, as the home wins are bound to come sooner or later.
Whether it starts tomorrow or in a couple of weeks, the Penguins are going to figure things out. And when they do, they will be feared just as they were in the past couple of seasons. Will the Pens get on that track tomorrow… we will have to wait and see.