In a flashback from last year’s Stanley Cup Final, the Penguins find themselves trailing in the series 2-0 to the Detroit Red Wings as the contest shifts back to Pittsburgh for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday night at Mellon Arena.
However, the Penguins are undaunted by the two-game deficit. The team remains confident in its ability to conquer the defending champions.
“We have to remain confident,” veteran Bill Guerin said. “I think we played pretty well both nights. We knew going in it wasn’t going to be easy. We just have to remain confident and focus on Game 3.”
“We have a good chance (of winning the series),” Sergei Gonchar said. “We have to continue playing well and creating a lot of chances. We have to continue playing the same way. If we do that we’ll have a chance.”
One source of confidence can be found in the way the team is playing. Unlike last year in Detroit, the Penguins weren’t blown away in the first two games. Pittsburgh believed it could have won both contests and will take a lot of positives away from each game.
“I think in each of the first two games we have been able to play in the offensive zone for periods of time,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “We’ve been able to get shots, been able to outshoot a good Detroit team … So there are a lot of positives we can draw on and focus on.”
We know that our game can be successful and we believe if we play the same way we’re going to come out on the right side of things. We would have liked to have different results but that’s playoff hockey. We have to make sure we keep playing the same way. - Sidney Crosby
“We know that our game can be successful and we believe if we play the same way we’re going to come out on the right side of things,” Sidney Crosby
said. “We would have liked to have different results but that’s playoff hockey. We have to make sure we keep playing the same way.”
And the Penguins know a 2-0 hole isn’t an insurmountable situation. The Penguins don’t have to look too far back for inspiration. Only a month ago, Pittsburgh found itself in a two-game hole in the semifinals against the Washington Capitals after dropping the first two games in D.C.
Despite the deficit, the Penguins – much the same way they are now – weren’t daunted by the task and still believed they would win the series. That confidence proved well placed as Pittsburgh won the next three games and eventually triumphed in the series.
“We showed it in Washington,” Maxime Talbot said. “We liked the way we played the first two games against Washington. We came back home and played solid. We have a chance to do that again.”
Pittsburgh wanted to leave Detroit with a split and the series tied at 1-1 but the Red Wings handled their business at home. Now it’s Pittsburgh’s turn to step up at home.
“They held serve and we have to do the same,” Mark Eaton said. “They got their two wins at home and we need to do the same Tuesday and Thursday. We’re looking forward to getting in front of our fans and get some home cooking. We just need to take care of business at home right now.”
The Penguins are not going to panic. This is the same team that conquered challenge after challenge this season. Now the Penguins must answer the call again facing their biggest challenge of the season with their championship dreams on the line.
“We’re 2-0 and we have a sense of urgency,” Chris Kunitz
said. “We need to get back in the game, get back in the series and start that in Game 3 back at home. We have to get back to our game and elevate our game a little bit more. That’s what we’re planning on doing.”