NEW YORK – Ancient history.
That’s exactly what Thursday night’s 3-0 loss is to the Penguins.
But, it’s no different of an approach than the one Pittsburgh has used in its seven other playoff games this season. It just so happens the shutout at Madison Square Garden was the Penguins’ first loss this postseason.
Nevertheless, the Penguins look to close out their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Rangers on home ice Sunday at 2 p.m.
“Yeah, that’s definitely our approach for the playoffs. We have to forget about it and focus on the next one,” Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. “I think they played hard all game. We weren’t at our best we’ve shown all playoffs. It’s one game and we have to forget about it. I know we lost the game, but we’re not done. We’re going to back to Pittsburgh and hopefully wrap up the series.”The Penguins struggled to produce offense against the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist, which had not been a problem until Thursday night.
“It’s all about simple little details. If we execute the details well, we win that game. We weren’t good enough to win. We had some chances to put that game away and we didn’t do it,” Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis said. “Their goalie played well. We didn’t score a goal, but he stepped up and played a big game. I don’t think we gave our best effort. Hopefully, we’ll turn things around and win at home.”
The Rangers faced elimination and the loss of Sean Avery and Blair Betts from their lineup. Plus, factor in playing at home in a do-or-die situation and New York responded with its best performance of the series.
“They were a desperate hockey team. They had their backs to the wall, down 3-0 and we knew they were going to come hard and they did,” Dupuis said. “But, we have to go home and not come back here.”
The Penguins aren’t panicking. They know they maintain control of the series.
“It’s a tough loss, but at the same time we have a game Sunday, so we have to make sure we’re ready for that one,” Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar said.
Defenseman Rob Scuderi played Thursday night, while center Max Talbot did not dress. Both players blocked shots with their feet Tuesday night and were hobbled the past couple days. Talbot is listed as day-to-day.
Gary Roberts took Talbot's spot on the fourth line. He played left wing and Adam Hall shifted to center in Talbot's place.