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Crosby expects greater sense of urgency from Penguins after Game 2 loss

Return home for Game 3 after losing twice to Islanders to open Eastern series

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Sidney Crosby expects a greater sense of urgency to be displayed by the Pittsburgh Penguins when they play the New York Islanders in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday (12 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Pittsburgh, which lost Game 2 3-1 to New York on Friday, trails the best-of-7 series 2-0. 

It's the first time the Penguins have trailed a series 2-0 under coach Mike Sullivan, who was hired Dec. 12, 2015, and the first time since the 2013 Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Bruins (lost in four games).


[RELATED: Complete Islanders vs. Penguins series coverage]


Crosby said the Penguins need to be more disciplined in Game 3 after taking eight penalties that resulted in being shorthanded six times Friday, including 54 seconds when the Islanders had a 5-on-3 advantage early in the second period.

"Ideally, we wouldn't have to kill as many penalties as we did tonight, but I thought we still generated some decent chances," Crosby said. "It's just coming down to execution. The Islanders are getting a big play and big goals and when the game is tied, and you have to try to find a way to get that next one. We unfortunately haven't been able to do it."

Jordan Eberle gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 7:54 of the third period before Josh Bailey mae it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 11:38. 

It was the fourth straight loss in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Pittsburgh dating to the 2018 Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals.

Video: Eberle, Lehner lead Isles to Game 2 win vs. Penguins

The Penguins have shown their resilience this season, finishing third in the Metropolitan Division after starting 7-8-4, and Crosby said he doesn't believe they need to change their approach.

"The urgency becomes higher and that should bring out the best in us," Crosby said. "We've been in these situations this year and it's brought out the best in our team, so I think if we come out with the right mentality and execute a little better, we'll get the result we want."

Crosby, who had 100 points (35 goals, 65 assists) in 79 regular-season games, does not have a point in the series. He has three shots on goal and is minus-1.

"These games are tight and close-checking, and when it's that kind of game, you have to execute. So I think that when it's 1-1 or 2-2, as it's been these last couple of games, we have got to get that next one," Crosby said. "We haven't been able to do that, and that's the difference to me. Other than that, I'd say the chances are pretty even."

Sullivan said he believes it's just a matter of time before Crosby finds his game.

"I haven't been disappointed," Sullivan said. "[Crosby] is too good and too important to our team. I would never be disappointed in him. I know how hard he competes, how much he cares."

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