OTTAWA – Sidney Crosby played a huge part in Pittsburgh's 7-4 victory Tuesday in Game 4 at Scotiabank place, scoring twice and setting up two other goals.
With the victory, Pittsburgh takes a 3-1 stranglehold on the series and could wrap up this best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal with a win in Game 5 at Mellon Arena on Thursday night.
Crosby has been the most dominant player in this series. He leads the League in playoff points with 11 after scoring 4 goals and adding 7 assists in four games.
After the game, Crosby spoke to the media and talked about the form of his team, as well as his own personal form. He also talked about depth scoring, the return of Chris Kunitz from late-season in jury and what it will take to close out the Ottawa Senators.
Q: Are you guys playing your best hockey right now?
Crosby: We're doing some good things right now, but I still think we can improve. I think the second period was a good example of that. We did a lot of good things, but there in the second, we kind of let them back into it and sat back. We can't afford to do that at any point, no matter what the score is. We'll try to learn from that. But I think we did a lot of good things that allowed us to get that lead, and we'll build off of that.
Q: What about yourself Sid -- do you feel like you are playing at the top of your game?
Crosby: I feel like I am creating things, and that is what I want to do. The puck has gone in. I've just been trying to compete. I know it is going to be tough every night playing against that matchup. I've been fortunate to have the puck go. And, Kuni (Kunitz) and Billy (Guerin) have made some great plays as well. We're just going to try to keep going.
Q: Does the line that plays against you matter at all?
Crosby: No. I try not to get too caught up with that. That's something you can't really control. I expect to see the two defenseman (Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips) back there. As for the forward line, you are always going to be ready to try to be responsible at both ends no matter who you are playing and you have to be ready to compete no matter who you are playing. So, I don't think that changes our mindset.
Q: Can you talk about some of the depth scoring you got tonight?
Crosby: It's important. Everyone has to contribute, especially a game like tonight when it is a shootout like it was. You need everyone finding ways to create things and contributing out there. That goal from Max (Talbot) was big. We're going to have to see that if we are going to be successful. We need everyone chipping in and we got that tonight.
Q: Can you see Chris Kunitz getting stronger every game?
Crosby: Yeah. I'm sure he is feeling a little more comfortable with the speed and the pace and the physicality -- all those things. That comes with timing and all that. I think he's getting used to things and tonight that showed. He generated a lot and created a lot with his physical play and buried his chance there to get a big one late.
Q: What do you need to do in Game 5?
Crosby: We expect the last one to be the toughest. You've got to be ready to match that desperation, that's the most important thing. I know for us, we've done some good things but we still feel we can be better. That's our motivation. There's no easy way to do it. The last one is the toughest -- and as long as you realize that and come ready to compete and match that desperation, than you give yourself a chance to finish it off.