The Penguins wouldn't say so, but it didn't seem fair that the NHL forced them to play four of their first five games this season on the road.

And, for that matter, seven of their first 10 and eight of the first 12.

It looked to be the kind of scheduling that could put a team at a severe competitive disadvantage.

And so it has.

Not because the Penguins have had too few games at home, however, but because they haven't had enough in other places.

They are 3-1 on the road but, after a 4-1 loss against the New York Islanders Tuesday night, 0-2 at Consol Energy Center.

That record doesn't begin to reflect how bad they've looked in those games, and many in the record crowd of 18,657 weren't shy about offering a caustic assessment of what they witnessed.

"You can't say they weren't right in booing us," said winger Pascal Dupuis, who scored the Penguins' only goal with 69 seconds left in regulation. "You don't want to hear it.

"At the same time, a slap in the face maybe won't hurt."