"There are some things we can do from an execution approach," Stevens said. "There's no question we have to do a better job of getting pucks in, doing a better job of protecting the puck, and working the cycle. We've done it at times. We've created some chances.
"If you look at the chances, it's almost even. If you look at the puck-possession time, it's tilted in their favor. . . . It's up to us to play on their side of the red line."
Faced with being swept, Stevens changed three of his four lines yesterday at practice, and for Game 4. The biggest change will see Mike Richards centering for Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell. That line hasn't been a unit since Feb. 17, against Montreal.
"Richie and Danny have had an awful lot of success together this year - mind you, mostly on the power play, but they're two of the best offensive players on our team and in the league, two of the leaders on our hockey team for years to come," Stevens said. "So we thought we'd give it a look."
R.J. Umberger will center for Vinny Prospal and Joffrey Lupul. The only line to be left intact will be Jeff Carter's unit, with Scottie Upshall and Mike Knuble.
"Even at the beginning of the year, when we were put up together, it seemed like we had some chemistry," Richards said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to play with Danny."
Changing three lines smacks of desperation. And it is.
"At this time in the playoffs, it's not about yourself," Briere said. "It's about the team. If Johnny thinks that's the best way to go, it's the best way to go. So, we're excited."
Patrick Thoresen will replace the turnover-prone Steve Downie on Jim Dowd's fourth line, with Sami Kapanen.
The Flyers won four straight against Montreal after trailing by one game to none. But this is Pittsburgh, not Montreal, and the Penguins' skill level is much higher.
"We're in good position," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We're pleased with our position right now in the series. But [tonight] . . . it's going to be a tough game to play. They're going to be desperate."
The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders are the only NHL clubs to overcome a deficit of three games to none in a playoff series.
Those teams did it 33 years apart. And this year is 33 years from 1975.
"It's in the back of your heads," Hartnell said of winning four straight games. "Obviously, you're not going to forget about it. They're going to make a big push to end it in four."
But he added: "We're one of the streakiest teams in the league, losing 10, winning 10. We won four last series after losing one. It's been done in the past, so why can't it be done with this group?"
The Flyers have been thoroughly outplayed in the series. That's a tribute to the Penguins. At the same time, the Flyers' ability to pass the puck without injured defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn has been the biggest blow to their game plan.
"You can't feel sorry for yourselves," Stevens said. "We've said it all year. We can't look outside the locker room. There's nobody outside the locker room that is going to help us. There's nobody outside the locker room to blame. It's all of us inside the locker room that need to play better."
Contact staff writer Tim Panaccio at 215-854-2847 or email@example.com.