PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Pittsburgh Penguins fired coach Michel Therrien on Sunday, less than a year after he led the team to the Stanley Cup finals.
Dan Bylsma, coach of the team's AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, was installed as interim coach of the Penguins with 25 games remaining in the NHL season.
Even with standouts Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins have struggled to a 27-25-5 record this season and are in 10th-place in the Eastern Conference, five points out of eighth and the final playoff spot.
The Penguins lost to the Detroit Red Wings in six games in last year's Stanley Cup finals.
The firing came a day after the Penguins blew a 2-0 lead in a 6-2 loss in Toronto, The Maple Leafs scored five times in the third period. Pittsburgh has just one road win since Dec. 26.
"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," general manager Ray Shero said in a statement. "Dan Bylsma is one of the bright young coaches in the game and has done an exceptional job as the head coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.
"We also would like to thank Michel Therrien for his significant contributions to the Penguins organization."
Bylsma (BYLE-smuh), 38, will coach his first game with the Penguins against the New York Islanders on Monday. He played nine NHL seasons as a right winger with Los Angeles and Anaheim from 1995-2004.