OTTAWA -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin is willing to give the Ottawa Senators credit for what they've accomplished in the Eastern Conference Final, but it's time for the Penguins to showcase their game and answer the Senators in Game 4 at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), he said.
Ottawa dominated during a 5-1 win in Game 3 on Wednesday to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.
"We're playing a great team," Malkin said. "They play all three zones. They have good forwards, great defensemen. We need to be ready."
[RELATED: Complete Penguins vs. Senators series coverage]
When asked if the Senators were forcing the Penguins to play Ottawa's tight-checking game, Malkin said: "If you're talking about [Wednesday] night, yeah, we [didn't play] our game. They scored three goals in the first seven minutes. They dominated. They pressured us every inch. [Friday], we need to change that. We need to score the first one. Pressure their D. Be strong. Be smart and control our game."
The Senators have held the Penguins to one goal in each of the first three games of the series. They have been scored by Malkin, forward Phil Kessel and center Sidney Crosby.
Pittsburgh needs to shoot the puck more, Malkin said.
"We had a couple of good chances in the last game," he said. "[Kessel] had a couple. I had a couple. We need to use our moment. It's not easy to score, but I hope we forget all three games. Turn the page. [Friday], we'd like to play our game. Faster. Shoot at the net. Play more in the offensive zone. To win the game, for sure, we're going to have to score a couple of goals, maybe more."
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The pressure to score is not any greater going into Game 4, Malkin said.
"I think me and Sid always feel pressure every game. It doesn't matter if you play against Ottawa or [the] Washington [Capitals]," he said. "We like that. It's our hockey life. We come to the rink, we work every practice to score to help the team to win. It's the toughest game [Friday], I think, for us. Me and Sid need to understand that. We need to be ready, for sure. We need to play better. [Don't] listen to the noise. Forget everything and play how we can. We have good goalies, good leadership, just show our game."
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan wants his players to get to the net and make life more difficult for Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.
"I think we've got to have another level of conviction and commitment and urgency to our game, making sure that we're getting to the net front more often," Sullivan said. "I think we can do a better job at making the sight lines for our opponent's goalie more difficult. We just have to bring another level of commitment to our game."