The Penguins find themselves in a dire 0-3 series hole and have their backs pinned against the wall by Barry Trotz and the smothering Islanders. A Round 1 exit via getting swept is looming on the horizon.
But for Brian Dumoulin, this is a situation he has been in before at the professional level within the Penguins’ organization.
“(Our) mood has been good. We’re trying to stay as positive as we can,” said Dumoulin. “Six years ago in Wilkes, we came back 3-0. We know it can be done. Teams have done it before. We still have belief.”
Dumoulin was referring to falling into a 0-3 hole with Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Providence back in 2013, but even after being in the worst situation from a playoff standpoint, he contributed to his team rallying from that insurmountable deficit to force the series to seven games and win four in a row to bury the Bruins and move on.
Dumoulin scored a pair of power play goals — one in Game 5 to help carry the Penguins to their second series win, and another in Game 6 to bolster them to a 2-1 overtime victory and send WBS and Providence to a Game 7 showdown. He’s no stranger to adversity.
“Teams have (come back). That’s why you play seven games,” said Dumoulin. “If we win one and keep getting better, it puts pressure on them.”
Even though the panic button has basically been punched, the series isn’t over yet, and despite the circumstances and past results of other NHL teams in this position, that’s what’s driving Dumoulin and the rest of the Penguins in the locker room.
They know they have to start limiting mistakes and protecting and carrying their leads.
“We have a lot of playmakers that can make plays off the rush, and it doesn’t have to be a 2-on-1 rush, we can take advantage of 2-on-2 rushes too,” Dumoulin said about playing to the Penguins’ identity. “We have to really recognize when it’s a 2-on-2 rush or it’s a 2-on-4 rush. Those are the times we have to dump the puck in and (avoid) creating turnovers, which feeds (NYI) into their forecheck. If we take advantage of the chances that we do get, it’ll benefit us.”
Dumoulin and the rest of the team are also tuning out the odds of coming back from an 0-3 situation and staying positive.
“It’s funny once you win one or two and the pressure stops on us and turns to them. We just have to get this next one.”