Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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Sens Mightier than the Pens

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Not too many hockey fans figured the Ottawa Senators would come out flying in the first period. In fact, plenty were complaining that the Senators were playing boring, tight-checking hockey and that no one wanted to watch their games as it was uninteresting to watch.

 

All that changed in the first period in Game 3.

 

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OTTAWA 5 PITTSBURGH 1

 

The Senators came out flying, scoring four goals before the game was 13 minutes old and chasing Marc-Andre Fleury from the net after only nine shots.

 

Ottawa got things started early as Mike Hoffman found the back of the net only 48 seconds into the game, giving the Sens a 1-0 lead and their first goal since Game 1. Ottawa scored only twice in two games in Pittsburgh (as did the Penguins) but only once in regulation, so it was hard to see this outburst.

 

The Senators broke it open just past the halfway mark of the first when they scored three times in 2:18 as Marc Methot, Derick Brassard and Zack Smith hit paydirt.

 

The Smith goal chased Fleury and Matt Murray saw his first game action in the playoffs as he played the last 47:08 of the game.

 

The good news for the Penguins was that the score was 1-1 in the final 47:08. Unfortunately, it's a 60 minute game and the Pens are now down two games to one.

 

Murray stopped 19 of 20 shots and could get the start on Friday for Game 4 in Ottawa.

 

It was 4-0 after one and 5-0 after the second as Kyle Turris scored the only goal of the period.

 

Craig Anderson was outstanding once again in the Ottawa cage as he gave up only one goal on 26 shots. Anderson has given up only one goal in each of the three games against the Pens, on 83 shots. He has been amazing in the series and is 10-5 in the post-season with a 2.20 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

 

The only goal by the Penguins was scored on the power play by Sidney Crosby on a beautiful tip-in of a Phil Kessel shot. It was Crosby's first goal since Game 1 of the second round. The Penguins were so far out of the game by the time Crosby scored, he barely raised his stick in celebration.

 

An interesting fact I saw on CBC was that Karlsson has been on the ice for all ten game-winning goals by Ottawa this playoff. He was a plus-four on the night as was his defense partner Methot.

 

Brassard had a great game with a goal and an assist and was 14-of-16 at the faceoff dot. The off-season trade from the Rangers for Mika Zibanejad paid dividends on Wednesday.

 

Conor Sheary, Jake Guentzel, Crosby and Ian Cole were all minus-three for the Pens.

 

Evgeni Malkin was held off the scoresheet but managed 12 penalty minutes in the game, including a 10-minute misconduct with under two minutes to go in the final stanza.

 

Alex Burrows was injured in the second period and did not return. He saw only 6:02 minutes of action. Consider him day-to-day for now.



Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Michael Finewax



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