Pens Confident Amid Elimination

'It will be a hell of a night here'

Jeff Hathhorn
April 16, 2019 - 12:26 pm

93.7 the Fan

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – As the Pens prepare for what could be the final game of their season, their mood seemed resolved facing the Islanders for game 4 Tuesday night trailing three games to none in the best of seven series.

“We put pressure on ourselves to be successful, tonight we have to bring it and extend our season,” said defenseman Kris Letang.  “I don’t think there is anything to say, we all feel it right now.”

“We are positive in here,” said forward Garrett Wilson.  “We have the leadership in here.  We’ve had good talks.  We are ready to go tonight, backs against the ropes, so we just have to put our best game forward.”

“I think your urgency and desperation is high,” said captain Sidney Crosby.  “You understand the situation you are in, going out there and leaving it all out there and finding a way to win a game.”

“You can’t hit the panic button even though we are in a situation,” said forward Nick Bjugstad.  “We know we can be better, it’s a good team over there, but we know we have more potential as a team.”

Bjugstad part of line changes during practice this morning as Jared McCann moved up to the top line with Zach Aston-Reese on the fourth with Matt Cullen and Wilson.  Bjugstad was reunited with Dominic Simon and Hornqvist.

“We’ve had some times in the game where we’ve had opportunities to hold the lead and not hit home runs, sometimes you have to just have base hits,” Bjugstad said.  “I’m using a baseball metaphor and I never even played baseball.  But you don’t always have to hit a home run, that goes for all of us, myself included.”

Another move was putting Jake Guentzel back on the top power play unit instead of Hornqvist.

“Jake is a good player and if he gets first power play time it’s because he’s a good player,” head coach Mike Sullivan said.  “If Horny goes there, Horny is a good player there.  It gives us flexibility.  They are just a little bit of a different type of player.” 

“Jake had good scoring chances in the last game," Sullivan added.  "He had three high quality chances.  He usually scores when he gets those looks.  We will just stay with it.  He’s a good player.”

“We just have to play our game,” Guenztel said.  “Gotta handle the puck a little better, puck management improve.  If we do that, I think we will have success.”

“Our focus and mindset has to come out and just win a hockey game,” Crosby said.  “We can’t get it all back at once.  The margin for error is small, but we gotta come out here and win a game at home.”

“We do have the pressure to stay alive, but they have the pressure to put us away,” Wilson said.

“Our mindset has to be ready for the drop of the puck and it will be,” Hornqvist told us.  “It’s going to be one hell of a night here.”

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