PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan bristled slightly Sunday morning at the word “desperation.” The Penguins trail the New York Islanders 2-0 in the best of seven-game series. If the Penguins lose Sunday they would need to accomplish a feat only a few teams in NHL history have done: Rally from a 3-0 series deficit.
Sullivan said his veteran team is “a mature group. We are well aware of the circumstance we are in.”
The Penguins must find a way to crack the New York Islanders simple game and aggressive forecheck. New York has forced 43 turnovers in the first two games of the series, including nine by defenseman Kris Letang. Letang and Sidney Crosby told PHN on Saturday they believe the Penguins made significant progress against the New York attack in Game 2.
“A lot of people use the word desperation to describe certain situations,” Sullivan said. “I’m not sure I like that word because it implies a certain level of hopelessness.”
Crosby and linemate Jake Guentzel have been held scoreless in the series. New York has used home ice advantage and the final line change to get their fourth line on the ice against Crosby. Sunday, the Penguins will have the final change and the change to get Crosby more favorable matchups.
Game 3 is Sunday noon at PPG Paints Arena. Follow Pittsburgh Hockey Now for full coverage from PPG Paints Arena, sponsored by Redbeard’s Bar and Grill on Mt. Washington and 6th Ave., Downtown.