PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins preach getting an abundance of shots on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Penguins coach Mike Johnston pledged he expects 35 shots per game midway through the regular season. Pittsburgh had stretches when it met Johnston's expectation but often came up short, which the Penguins felt partially led to their lackluster offensive output as the season neared its end.
Three games into the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round Series against New York, not much has changed, and Pittsburgh trails 2-1. The Penguins had their first shot on goal in Game 3 at 15:10 of the first period, when defenseman Ben Lovejoy sent a slap shot on Lundqvist from center ice following a power play.
The Penguins cannot repeat their Game 3 performance if they wish to tie the series in Game 4 at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA2, MSG, ROOT).
"Last night, we talked about shots allowed," Johnston said Tuesday. "Anytime you go through the first 10 minutes, or 11 minutes, of the first period and don't get a shot, when you look at our shot attempts last night, we had 35 shot attempts that were blocked or missed. Those are the ones we have to get eight or nine of those to the net, for sure. You can't have 35 that are blocked or missed.
"Certainly, some teams block a lot of shots, but that's far too many. We had some early that were blocked or missed that could have given us some real momentum in the first 10 minutes. And then you miss them, and obviously, you're looking at the clock and you don't have any shots at the 10-minute mark."