NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma isn't shy about sharing exactly what his team has to do to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers.
Bylsma sees Pittsburgh's forecheck as the determining factor in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
"I think in Game 2 we did a much better job of that, in terms of a heavy forecheck," Bylsma said hours before Game 3. "Making defenseman go back, make them play in the D zone, make it be tough. That is something we have to do in this situation. We did a good job of it last night. We have to do that right from the start."
Playing their fifth game in seven nights, the Rangers could be vulnerable to Pittsburgh's aggressive style, especially after winning a seven-game series against a Philadelphia Flyers team that also relied on a fierce forecheck. But the Penguins' attack isn't a traditional physical onslaught. It relies more on positioning and speed, a tactic that better suits Pittsburgh's skilled lineup.
"Physicality is not the real emphasis with our forecheck. It's more where the puck is at and getting there with speed and being a factor that way," Byslma said. "The makeup of our team is not overly strong on physicality. The forecheck is more puck management. A lot of times our best forechecks are touching the puck first."
That ability to get to the puck first was the deciding factor in Pittsburgh's 3-0 Game 2 victory on Sunday. The Penguins drifted away from that strategy in Game 1, a departure that cost them the opening game of the series in overtime. Bylsma expects his troops to maintain their more aggressive approach in Game 3.
"Game 1 was too much East-West. We got too cute with our mentality," Bylsma said. "Game 2 we were much better. It's something we've got to do right here at the drop of the puck."
Bylsma did not have any injury or lineup updates other than goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury starting. Any lineup changes will be made following warmups.
Here are the projected lineups for Game 3:
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Lee Stempniak
Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Beau Bennett - Brandon Sutter - Joe Vitale
Brian Gibbons - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams
Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Matt Niskanen
Rob Scuderi - Robert Bortuzzo
Scratched: Jayson Megna, Taylor Pyatt, Tanner Glass, Deryk Engelland, Chris Conner
Injured: Brooks Orpik (undisclosed), Pascal Dupuis (knee), Tomas Vokoun (pelvis)
Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Martin St. Louis
Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - J.T. Miller
Brian Boyle - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Raphael Diaz - Kevin Klein
Scratched: Derek Dorsett, Ryan Haggerty, Daniel Carcillo, John Moore, Justin Falk
Injured: Chris Kreider (hand)