This one looked over.
The Ottawa Senators were staring a three-game deficit right in the face, down a goal with 90 seconds to go. Then, to make matters worse, Erik Karlsson took a slashing penalty, putting them down a man as well. But the Senators refused to go away, and a minute into the penalty, Daniel Alfredsson sneaked into the Pittsburgh zone, unmarked, and Milan Michalek found him in front of the net. Alfy sealed the deal, as Alfies often do, ending Tomas Vokoun's shutout bid and sending the game into overtimes.
Yes, overtimes. For the first time in the 2013 postseason, it took double OT for this game to produce a winner, and when it did, the Senators were back in the series. At 7:39 of the second overtime, Colin Greening banged home a loose puck to give the Sens a 2-1 victory:
And with that, the legend of the pesky Sens lives on. This team just won't go away. Pittsburgh will be left to wonder if it was their brutally lackadaisical approach to the powerplay late in regulation that cost them the lead, or destiny.
(Probably the former. But the latter makes for a nice narrative, no?)
Even after tying the game up in miraculous fashion, the Senators were nearly dealt the fatal blow numerous times. Pascal Dupuis hit a post in the first overtime. Evgeni Malkin had several terrifying forays into the Senators' end. They even survived another Pittsburgh powerplay in OT number two.
Alfredsson and Greening will get much of the credit for stealing Game 3 -- which is sort of what happens when you get your name on the scoresheet after the 59th minute -- but Craig Anderson was a deserving first star after keeping the game within stealing distance all night. The Senators' netminder stopped 49 of 50 shots in the win.
How close were the Senators to the end? After the game, Greening -- who took a high-stick in the second and was late to the postgame scrum because doctors had to extract the fiberglass that had been sitting in his face for two and a half periods -- looked like he'd just come from Dexter's kill table.
You can't get much closer to death than that. Not many people survive the blood slide moment.
Game 4 goes Wednesday in Ottawa.
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- Ottawa Senators
- Erik Karlsson
- Milan Michalek