Senators on cusp of ouster against Penguins
OTTAWA — Three games left, three wins necessary.
It's a mammoth task, one that the Penguins hope to quash as early as Game 5 on Friday night at the Consol Energy Center.
And judging by Wednesday night's effort, which included a third-period Ottawa collapse, it might be nearly impossible.
The Penguins were better pretty much everywhere on the ice, beating the Senators, 7-3.
Don't sell the Senators short, though. It's a team that's proved doubters wrong all season, a team that went into rebuilding mode just two seasons ago, a team that wasn't supposed to make the playoffs, a team that certainly wasn't supposed to be still standing in Round 2. There certainly doesn't appear to be any quit in the Eastern Conference's seventh-seeded team.
“Lose, we're done. We'll start with one shift at a time, period to period,” Senators winger Chris Neil said. “We'll put this one behind us, regroup and come out and be better next game.
“We know we can beat them. Just because they have a bunch of superstars doesn't mean they're going to win the Stanley Cup. If you work as a group, you can beat them.”
Going into Wednesday's game, Ottawa had outscored its opponents, 14-1, in the third period. That, of course, took a big swing in the other direction as they couldn't match the Penguins' speed or peskiness.
“They capitalized on their chances; they got a couple of bounces, and they have guys that can bury the puck,” said center Jason Spezza, who hit the post with a shot that could have been a momentum changer and would have tied the game, 3-3, in the second period. “A close game turned into a blowout pretty quick.
“We have to park this one after tonight. We had a chance to tie this series up and look forward. We have to re-focus — not look at the big picture, be shortsighted and just try to win the next game.”
Truth is, their season may soon be over. But they won't go down without a fight — busting their butts to each loose puck, playing with a commitment that defines the character that's being shaped.
“I don't think there's much going for us, and maybe that's the way we like it,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, whose third-period goal was his 100th career playoff point. “It's a frustrating night, and we're just going to have to go to Pittsburgh to bring one more game to this building.”
Tim Baines is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- With Malkin out, Penguins fall to Flyers, 4-1
- Penguins notebook: Ehrhoff skates, remains out of lineup
- Penguins face important test with pre-playoff meetings against Flyers
- Hornqvist’s net-front presence with Penguins could be valuable asset
- Penguins a love affair for Evancho sisters
- Starkey: Penguins’ season impressive so far
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, out with concussion
- Penguins’ protracted slump continues with 5-2 loss at Carolina
- Players respect coach, refuse to blame Johnston
- Penguins notebook: Five defensemen dress against San Jose