In today's Tribune-Review, writer Mike Prisuta put together what is likely a message to the Pens and their fans - change is needed and it's needed now.
The approach used in the first two games is (obviously) not working. To quote Prisuta directly:
They'd better come up with an alternative in a hurry.
It would seem entirely logical to attribute the Caps' winning to Simeon Varlamov's performance in net. After all, the Pens are getting the chances and the shots are there, but Varlamov has come through on cross-crease saves and desperation attempts better than anyone could have expected.
Personally I feel the defense needs to step it up. Over the first two games it's been difficult to find reasons that put all the blame on Marc-Andre Fleury. With all the offensive prowess on both sides of the puck, no one could have predicted a goaltending duel of sorts. But maybe that's just what it really is. Despite last night's 4-3 loss and Saturday's 3-2 downer, there just may be a goaltending duel nestled beneath the covers of two efficient offensive squads.
It would seem fitting to say that if Pitt hopes to pull this one off they have to fight fire with fire. The offense must match that of Washington but Pitt's defense has to play the better game. That's the key alternative to what the Pens have tried over the first two games and ultimately isn't working.
Sure, one can make a case that Pitt's offense should be keeping pace with Washington and, given the chances in Game 2, even out-scoring them. But it's not happening. Adjustments are needed.
We may see some line changes for G3. Nothing is certain or even hinted, but Dan Byslma knows adjustments must be made. Geno needs a spark, Sid can't be expected to carry them every game and Petr Sykora couldn't pick a better time to snap out of his coma than tomorrow night.
MAF can't do it all on his own either. The Pens have proven they can jump out to an early lead, but evidence has shown that holding it down is entirely a different story. If Pitt can continue that early jump and provide some security on defense around Fleury, then Game 3 is Pitt's to win.