Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semi-Final – Game 3: Penguins vs. Senators

The Penguins hit the road again, crossing the border back into Canada as the stage was set for game three of their Eastern Conference Semi-Final series against the Ottawa Senators. Having taken a 2 to 0 series lead for the first time since 2009, the Penguins were looking to take a commanding 3 to 0 lead . The Senators, for their part, with superstar Jason Spezza back in the lineup, were looking to prove that their season wasn’t over yet by rebounding with a victory of their own.

The first period would pass without a goal but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Both teams were off to a flying start, the ice open to both teams allowing for a great deal of back and forth play. Ottawa played a very physical open period, hitting Pittsburgh with everything it had. Six and a half minutes in, the Penguins headed to their first power play of the evening when Chris Phillips was whistled for a hold. The power play would pass without any capitalization. One of the best chances the Penguins had through the first twenty came in the final minute of the period when Evgeni Malkin earned a breakaway and was hauled down just in front of Craig Anderson by Marc Methot. Methot’s effort earned him two minutes in the box, ensuring the Penguins started the second period with the man advantage. The Pens held the advantage in shots 13 to 8.

Less than minute into the middle frame, the Penguins found themselves on the receiving end of a 5-on-3 when the Senators were whistled for a too many men infraction with just a little less than minute left on Methot’s penalty from the first. However, the power play effort proved futile, the Penguins unable to really get anything going. The teams would skate four-on-four a time or two but neither team could muster much. In spite of the fast pace, the first goal of the game came with 1:07 left on the clock in the middle frame. It was Tyler Kennedy giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead after picking up a pass from Matt Cooke and whipping a shot high behind Anderson who had moved out and away from the net. Through forty, the Penguins continued to outshoot the Senators, this time 11 to 10.

The lone penalty of the third period came with 1:27 left on the clock when Erik Karlsson was whistled for a slash after he broke his stick attempting to stop Matt Cooke on a breakaway. The Senators pulled Craig Anderson in favour of the extra attacker, despite being down a man, allowing for Daniel Alfredsson to score short-handed, tying the game with 0:28 left on the clock. This game, as such, was headed to sudden death playoff overtime.

Karlsson’s penalty carried over into the OT, giving the Penguins thirty seconds to work with. However, it would pass without a solid chance. The overtime period itself would pass without a goal, sending the game into a second period of overtime. 7:39 seconds in to the second OT, Colin Greening would sneak one past Tomas Vokoun, giving the Senators life in the series. That was all they wrote!

Paul Martin led all skaters with 37:16 of ice time while Kris Letang followed with 36:52. Evgeni Malkin registered 10 shots on goal while Kris Letang had 7.Tomas Vokoun faced 48 shots while the Penguins tallied 50 in total.

Game 4 of the series goes Wednesday night in Ottawa. Game time is 7:30pm.