Ottawa leads 2-1.
Everything is a matter of perspective, isn't it? Say, for instance, that the Pens had lost both games in Ottawa and won on Sunday in Pittsburgh. What would we all be saying now? I think it would be something like "a win in game 4 and the Pens are right back in the series, doing what they're supposed to do". Instead, with the win on the road and the loss at home, there seems to be an overriding feeling of disappointment.
I think the Pens can win game 4. I think they will be right back in the series if they do. I think they're done if they don't.
If the Pens are to win the game, they're going to have to do a few things, in my opinion:
- Out hit the Senators, while staying out of the box. This is made easier by the reduced interference calls if the puck is anywhere near the player.
- Make better passes out of their own end. I'm not sure if this is a system thing that they're confused by, but we haven't seen this much difficulty all season.
- When they get the puck to the neutral zone, get the forecheck going. This had been absent for most of the series, and it's critical. It's even more important because it gives a chance for the third and fourth lines to chip in.
- Get timely scoring on the power play. In their two losses, the Pens had key situations where they couldn't get the badly needed goal past Ray Emery. They have to find a way to score.
- Hit Bryan Murray with the puck. Okay - maybe that one's not completely necessary, but it sure would be worth it.
Let's Go Pens!