SAN JOSE (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins stayed positive in a press conference Sunday before the upcoming Game 6 against the San Jose Sharks.
Asked how the Penguins are working to improve their power play performance, Patric Hornqvist said it’s about speed and simplicity.
“We move the puck around a little quicker, and take what they give us,” he said. “Keep it simple and get it to the net.”
As for the most recent loss to the Sharks, Hornqvist maintained he is proud of how the Penguins played.
“I think we played a hell of a game, the last 55 minutes of the game, we were all over them. We had so many scoring shots and we couldn’t find the puck,” he said. “We just have to play exactly the same game here tonight, clean up the first five minutes and learn about that, but other than that, if we play like we did, I like our chances.”
Asked about the fan presence at home during Game 5, Coach Mike Sullivan denied the noise hurt the team’s performance.
“No I don’t think so. I think, listen the stakes are high this team really wants to win, when that happens, we are all human and we all have emotions,” he said. “We certainly didn’t have the start we want, as far as controlling momentum right from the drop of the puck.”
Coach Sullivan said the team is enjoying the ride.
“I think it’s exciting, our guys are having fun with this whole journey that we’ve had. They are a close-knit group, they enjoy playing for each other and I think they’re having fun with this, I think they’re embracing the challenges we’ve been faced with to this point, and we’ve got another great opportunity tonight.”
Reporters questioned Brian Dumoulin on how the Sharks managed to get more pucks in the net in Game 5.
“We know they’re good out front, they’re good with their sticks, and I thought throughout the first part of the series we did a good job blocking shots, but they’re dangerous, they do get the pucks through really well, so it’s an important factor tonight,” he said.
Matt Cullen said keeping the pressure on has been key to staying ahead.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job of pressuring teams, making life difficult as far as taking away time and space and using our feet to close on people,” he said. “It’s something we work on a lot, we talk a lot about and it’s an important part of this series. They have a really good power play, so we understand we need to stay on it.”
Ben Lovejoy was a new addition to the Penguins in 2009 when the team last won the Stanley Cup. He said that being a bigger presence on the team this time around has heightened the experience.
“I played two games in November that season , I was happy to be there but we lost them both, I had no impact on the Cup,” he joked. “I had a great seat to watch that team do it and would love to be a part of one myself.”
The Penguins face off against the Sharks at 8 p.m. in San Jose, for a chance at bringing the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh.