On Monday night, the Penguins came up empty in game two against the Red Wings, falling 3-0. They are down 2-0 in the series and will go home for games three and four on Wednesday and Saturday. Winning game three is absolutely imperative.
If the Penguins made any adjustments rather than subbing Roberts in and Laraque out, it didn't look like it. They still looked lethargic. They still looked about a step slower than Detroit. They still looked frustrated and exhausted. They still couldn't get the puck deep. They still missed the few quality chances that they had. Ryan Malone and Maid Marian Hossa still looked confused.
It isn't so much that the Penguins were playing like crap. The Wings have had some unbelievably good defense. Osgood hasn't really had to work that hard, and even when a shot gets through, he paddles it down to a sea of red sweaters. They're keeping the Pens forwards out of the house. They're dominating the neutral ice play, they're getting to all the loose pucks behind the net. The Red Wings blueliners have even drawn defensive zone penalties.
Through two games, the Penguins have only mustered 41 shots on goal. This isn't going to get it done.
For game three, the Pens are gonna have to juggle the line combinations. They're gonna have to find a way to get the puck through the neutral zone. They're gonna have to find a way to keep it deep. They're going to have to take some shots and put some big bodies down low. In short, they're gonna have to figure out how to play against the Wings suffocating defense.
On top of all this is the most obvious thing. They're gonna have to find the net.
The good news is that Pittsburgh has won 16 straight games at the Igloo. The last time they lost there was a 2-1 shootout loss to the Sharks way back on February 24.
5 years ago