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Three periods: Odd hops common at Canadian Tire Centre

Jonathan Bombulie
| Thursday, May 18, 2017, 7:39 p.m.
Senators left wing Mike Hoffman (68) scores a goal past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) in the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Ottawa.
Chris Horner | Tribune-Review
Senators left wing Mike Hoffman (68) scores a goal past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) in the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Ottawa.


Follow the bouncing puck

With Joe Louis Arena in Detroit set for the wrecking ball, the competition for NHL building most prone to strange bounces of the puck is wide open. In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night, the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, Ontario, threw its hat into the ring.

Two of Ottawa's four first-round goals came on odd hops off the end boards and back glass.

“It's definitely a funky building,” defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. “You see some of the pucks wrapped around the glass and how springy it is off the boards. Sometimes they take advantage of that. We can do a little bit more of that also. It's going to take some different bounces, some wacky bounces. We have to be ready for that.”


Still starting slowly

The avalanche of goals they were buried under at the beginning of Game 3 against Ottawa was a different look for the Penguins, but the general tenor of how the game started was disturbingly familiar.

If there's been a thread running through the entire postseason for the Penguins, it's been their inability to get off to strong starts. In the first period of 15 playoff games, they've been outscored 13-5 and outshot by an average of 12-7.

“We've got to have a good start every game,” defenseman Chad Ruhwedel said. “It's getting a little late in the season for starts like that.”


Same old Sens

Despite their four-goal first period in Game 3, the Senators are unlikely to change their approach entering Game 4 on Friday night. Their intention will be to clog up the neutral zone with their 1-3-1 forecheck and win by counter-attacking off mistakes.

Winger Bobby Ryan said he didn't think one offensive outburst would change the perception of his team.

“No, I think people will still continue to think we're the boring, old team,” he said. “We do. We clog the neutral zone. We make it hard for you to come through. It works for us, so we're sticking with it.”

—Jonathan Bombulie

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