BostonBruins.com – For the first time since the 2009 Stanley Cup Final, Sidney Crosby is in the midst of a three-game playoff scoreless streak. The Bruins have shutdown the Penguins captain through the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The lack of scoring has frustrated the former league MVP, who goes into every game expecting to get his name on the scoresheet.
“I think I feel like that every game,” said Crosby, who has landed nine shots on goal in the series. “I try to go out there and produce. Obviously the chances were there, especially last game. [I’ve] got to trust that those will eventually go in.”
Crosby hasn’t been the only Penguin to have troubles finding the back or the net, though. Pittsburgh hasn’t been able to crack Tuukka Rask, having netted just two goals on 110 shots over the three games.
Putting in a couple tonight in Game Four could open the flood gates, according to Crosby.
“The chances that we have produced, eventually those go in,” he said. “We know that we’re able to capitalize on those. We trust that they will go in.”
“It would be nice to get the first one, build off of that,” added Crosby. “We felt like even with that bounce we got last game, we still started out pretty well. We’ll try and do it again.”
Down three games to none, desperation is setting in for the Penguins. They know that from here on out they are playing for their playoff lives; one more loss and their quest for a second Stanley Cup in five seasons will end.
“I think that’s just natural with being in that situation,” Crosby admitted. “That should bring out the best in everyone. I think, in a way, you can use that to your advantage. As much as when you’re up 3-0, as much as you want to have desperation to close it out, I think it’s pretty tough to match the desperation of a team that [is down]. We need to make sure we use that to our advantage.”
Crosby gave credit to the Bruins for the way they have played in the series, saying they have been better at capitalizing at the right times.
“They’ve been good,” said Crosby of the Bruins. “I think the main thing is they’ve executed well. They’ve gotten opportunities and they’ve taken advantage of it. You go to overtime; we probably deserved a little better last game, but they find a way to get that important goal.
“Sometimes, it’s the timing of getting those big ones. They’ve been better at that than us at this time.
“You have to give them credit, though; they’ve found ways to win. That’s what good teams do.”
Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma hasn’t resorted to having a sit down with his captain or Pittsburgh’s other former MVP, Evgeni Malkin, who has also been held off the board in the series. He said if the team builds off the way it played in Game Three, they will have a good chance to return to Pittsburgh for Game Five.
“I don't give goal-scoring tips to too many guys, but again, that's the way we need to play,” said Bylsma of the way his team opened things up offensively. “That's the way we can play, and we pushed it and we pushed it hard, and we had opportunities. Those guys had great opportunities five on five; Evgeni had a mini breakaway there, we had good chances on the power play, they all had good looks and we just have to keep playing that way, and that's what we're going to do.
“We know the situation being down 0-3, but we're going to come back for Game 5 and we're going to play exactly that same way and get a win in Game 4.”