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Penguins go to battle with new coach vs. Islanders

Pittsburgh (27-25-5) at NY Islanders (16-33-6) 2:00 p.m. EST

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- A season removed from a trip the

Stanley Cup Finals, Michel Therrien is out of a job.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who fired Therrien on Sunday, will play

under interim coach Dan Bylsma when they visit the New York

Islanders on Monday afternoon.

Led by superstar center Sidney Crosby, the Penguins racked up

102 points last season and eventually pushed the Detroit Red

Wings to six games in the Stanley Cup Finals.

In the summer, the Penguins and Therrien agreed to terms on a

new three-year deal that kept the former Jack Adams Award

finalist under contract through the 2010-11 season.

But this campaign has been a complete disaster for the

45-year-old Therrien and Pittsburgh. The Penguins are in fourth

place in the Atlantic Division and currently on the outside

looking in for a postseason berth with a mere 59 points.

The last straw for Therrien came when Pittsburgh allowed six

unanswered goals in Saturday's 6-2 loss to Toronto.

"We believe we need a change in direction and, with 25 games

remaining in the regular season, our goal remains to finish

strong and qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs," Penguins

general manager Ray Shero said in a statement.

The Islanders should provide a nice opportunity for Bylsma to

get off to a strong start.

The worst team in the NHL, New York is 0-4-1 in its last five

games and is coming off a 5-1 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Penguins have won all three meetings this season.


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