PHILADELPHIA -- After taking a day to get away from the nightmare that has been this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, the Penguins returned to Philadelphia determined to put the brakes on their out-of-control train.
“We’re definitely trying to find ways to figure out these games and figure out the right way to play,” center Jordan Staal said late Tuesday afternoon.
There are the technical things -- giving up three shorthanded goals, allowing six power-play goals on just 10 opportunities and blowing leads in three straight games -- that will need to be addressed in short order or the Pens will be done Wednesday night.
But for a team that melted down as it did in an ugly 8-4 loss Sunday, Game 4 offers a chance at redemption.
“I think we all feel we owe it to ourselves to at least put a full game together here and see what happens,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said late Tuesday afternoon. “We’re quite capable of putting a full 60 minutes together.”
“We also know that we have done some really good things and if we limit our mistakes, we give ourselves a great chance of winning the game,” Crosby added.
Coach Dan Bylsma will have to juggle a lineup that will be missing three regulars given the one-game suspension handed to forward Craig Adams after an instigator penalty was called for his late-game fight with Scott Hartnell in Game 3.
Regardless, the team will need to be better in many areas of the game if it hopes to force a fifth game in Pittsburgh on Friday night.
“Ten days ago, we believed we were a very good team and we believed we had a chance to win the Stanley Cup. That still holds true, regardless of the situation we’re in. If there’s any group of guys that believes that and knowing that, it’s this group of guys. And it starts with a very simple task of going out and focusing on winning one game, which is Wednesday,” Bylsma said.
Added Crosby, “We just want to get back to Pittsburgh.”
The key will be in forcing Philadelphia to tag along, too.