Monday, April 18, 2011

Playoff Game #3 - at Tampa Bay Lightning

Playoff Game 3
Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning
Series tied 1-1.

The Pens get a chance to push the reset button after a poor showing in some aspects in Game 2.

They need to have their intensity locked in from the drop of the puck - I think that's where Tampa had the biggest advantage in Game 2.

Per some tweets of Dejan Kovacevic (via Jordan Staal), the Pens will have a few new looks to show in terms of busting the trap, including sending two forwards in to chase the puck after the dump.

Of course, the easiest way to break the trap is to score first. That will keep them from getting into their trapping game as much as they'd like.

If I'm the Pens, I'm not as worried about the offense. The chances are there, and they're working pretty well as a team right now. The trouble is on the defensive breakdowns and bad penalties that led to the Lightning goals in Game 2.

Here are my keys:
  1. Get Fleury off to a solid start. Lock things down tight defensively to keep the first few shots from being too difficult (meaning, don't allow a 2-on-1 as the first scoring chance of the game).
  2. Score first.
  3. Pull a draw (at least) on special teams. Keep them from scoring and you've done your job, even if the power play doesn't get things rolling.
  4. Stay aggressive. Keep going with more of the same on the forecheck. Roloson isn't unbeatable.
Let's Go Pens!

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