NHL: Players on the mend after back injury

The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off back-to-back losses.

They’ve been eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2002-03.

The Penguins will be looking to bounce back after two consecutive wins and an impressive 7-1 start to the season, which included a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

They’re coming off a 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday and a 6:37-second overtime victory over Boston on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it was an easy game,” coach Mike Johnston said.

“We were really good on both ends.

It was tough to come out with any kind of lead, but we came out with a win.

I thought our energy level was good.

I think we had good puck possession.

Our penalty kill was good and I thought we made a couple of big saves on the power play.”

The Penguins have played a game fewer than six times in their past 11 seasons and are on a five-game losing streak.

They played well against the Blackhawks, who have won six straight.

But they allowed an overtime goal from the Flyers in the second period.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted.

We didn’t give them a chance,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said.

The Hawks will be without goaltender John Gibson for the rest of the season after the 28-year-old was sent home after hurting his right hamstring in the third period of Monday’s game.

The team’s top goal scorer, Jimmy Vesey, also has a groin injury and will be out six to eight weeks.

Forward Alex Pietrangelo, who was named the AHL’s second star of the week, will miss his second straight game due to a lower-body injury.

Forward Kris Versteeg and defenseman Josh Bailey will also miss the contest due to injuries.