The Pittsburgh Penguins may be the highest score team in the NHL, but head coach Dan Bylsma doesn’t want his players trying to run and gun with the Boston Bruins.
“We don’t like the number of chances we gave up last game for the Bruins and don’t like the opportunities we gave them,” Bylsma said this morning ahead of tonight’s game at the Consol Energy Center.
“There was another two-on-one they had that they didn’t get a shot on that we didn’t like about our game.
“So we’re not looking to play an 8-to-6 game or a 7-to-5 game and hope we can outscore — I think the first team to score a goal is going to win this hockey game tonight.”
The Penguins, of course, didn’t score a single goal Saturday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, a 3-0 victory for the Bruins.
And the idea that the Penguins, blessed with offensive talents Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, should try to open it up against the B’s has a certain amount of merit. So far in the playoffs, Pittsburgh has been involved in seven games where at least seven goals have been scored. The Penguins won five of those seven games; the other two were won by the New York Islanders in the first round.
But even if the Penguins did want to trade chances, they might not have a willing partner in the Bruins, who did a great job of protecting the lead in Game 1.
“I think in probably the latter, I’d say, 35 minutes of the game, we got away a little bit from our execution,” Bylsma said Saturday. “Brought pucks back, tried to make plays through the neutral zone.
“They had all five guys back. We weren’t able to get through that.”