Throughout these playoffs, the Penguins have approached both wins and losses, no matter the final score and how the games played out, with the same mentality.
From their very first game of this postseason, a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders in Pittsburgh, to the most recent, Sunday’s 2-1 double overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Penguins have handled every result the same way.
They focus immediately on the next game.
That approach will serve them well being on the losing end of a hard-fought battle now, the first double-overtime game of these playoffs, and it’s one that echoed throughout both the visitors’ locker room last night immediately following the setback and this afternoon when a group of players met with the media at their hotel.
“It’s unfortunate, but whether you lose in double overtime or 10-1, a loss is a loss and we’ll have to make sure we bounce back here the next game,” captain Sidney Crosby said Sunday.
That philosophy has stayed with the guys Monday, just as it has throughout the whole postseason so far.
“I think we’ve all moved on,” forward Brenden Morrow said. “We had a meeting about 30 minutes ago. I think I saw ‘Sid’ say if we lost 10-1 or 1-0, it’s just one game. The message was the same today. It was a long game; everyone played a lot of minutes. It’s time to regroup, refresh and get ready for the next game.”
It’s not that they are completely erasing what happened last night at Scotiabank Place from their memories and moving forward as if they did not lose a game that was 30-seconds away from a win.
They are going to learn from both the first 59 minutes and 32 seconds of the game. where they played arguably their best hockey of this postseason, and the final 28 seconds of regulation, where they allowed the Senators to score a shorthanded goal after the Penguins had been in position to win the game 1-0.
“I don’t think we look at it any differently than (it being just) one loss,” veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “I think you learn. You obviously have to learn from the play and the situation that we didn’t handle very well. But I think as an older group, I think you can move on a little bit quicker and you look at the good things we did for 59 and a half minutes that put us in a position to win 1-0. But you have to look at what you did wrong there at the end and learn from that.”
The Penguins have been in a similar situation before with this same team. What most people remember about the Penguins’ last playoff series with the Senators back in 2010 was Pascal Dupuis’ overtime winner in Game 6 on the road that advanced the Penguins to the second round.
But don’t forget, the Penguins had fallen in triple overtime to the Senators in the game before, at home, with the winner coming off the stick of Matt Carkner.
The Penguins regrouped, went to Ottawa and came out of it with both a win and the series.
“Win or lose today, it doesn’t change anything for the next game,” goalie Tomas Vokoun said last night. “Obviously, we let this one slip away. We had the power play and getting scored on, on our power play, 30 seconds left in the game, that’s a tough break. But sometimes you’ve got to go through adversity, and this is ours.”
“Whether you win or lose, you always turn the page pretty quick and focus on the next one,” Crosby said. “We’ve got to make sure we come with the same effort and find a way to execute on the power play and give ourselves a chance there. But that’s hockey. It’s obviously disappointing we couldn’t close it out, but we’ll have to bounce back.”