April 13, 2012
Pens won't be tentative in Game 2
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
PITTSBURGH - A big, blown lead in Game 1 aside, Sidney Crosby has no interest in playing it safe Friday night at the Consol Energy Center.
Sure, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain would like to see his team tighten up defensively after squandering a 3-0 lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal. But getting away from their own style was a big reason for that collapse.
"I don't think we have to try to play safe," Crosby said following his team's optional morning skate. "I think we have to manage the puck a little better. When we get to that point in the game, we have to limit their chances."
Historically, the Penguins have been a good bounce back team during the postseason, carrying a 9-1 record at home in Game 2 after losing the opener and 7-3 in their last 10 playoff games following a loss.
On the other hand, the Flyers have had huge success at the Consol Energy, winning seven of eight games played at the two-year-old arena.
"There's probably a statistic to make each case," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "The team that goes out tonight and executes best probably has the best chance to win the hockey game."
In Wednesday's opener, the Penguins dominated through the first 20 minutes, building a 3-0 lead over a Flyers team that looked overmatched. But when their game turned tentative, the Flyers took advantage to get the early jump in the series.
"It doesn't matter how the game went, you have to bounce back," said Crosby, who had a goal and an assist in his first playoff game in two seasons.
"You have to have a short memory and move on. The way you play doesn't change. If anything we'll be even more desperate. Our approach was pretty good in Game 1. It's just a a matter of maintaining that all game."