Senators outlast Penguins, win 2-1 in double OT

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

Huge game. Down 2-0 in the series. Jason Spezza back. Pun intended. How did it turn out?

The first period was scoreless but hardly boring, with multiple scoring chances within the first couple minutes. Chris Phillips took a questionable holding penalty six minutes in, putting Ottawa at the mercy of Pittsburgh's excellent power play. Seriously, have you seen this power play? Evgeni Malkin gets caught up in the neutral zone, giving more room for Sidney Crosby to pass through. Excellent goaltending and defence saved the Senators' hides, keeping the Penguins off the scoreboard.

For the first time in 50 games, the full Ottawa Senators power play was able to take the ice. Dropping Turris to the second unit made for, with no exaggeration, their best-looking power play in months. What recently had been an exercise in mimicking statues on ice suddenly came to life, moving around and generating opportunities.

With only seconds to go in the first, Evgeni Malkin broke loose on a breakaway only to be tripped up by a desperate Marc Methot, putting the Penguins up on a power play going into the second period. A dangerous way to start the period was exacerbated when the Senators took a too many men on the ice penalty with a minute to left on the first one. Not only were the Senators able to kill it, but we were treated to a rare sight: Marc Methot leading a 2-on-1. A failed 2-on-1, but still.

A highly entertaining second period featured some awful calls both ways (Zack Smith getting two minutes for touching Malkin, Sidney Crosby getting two minutes for Jared Cowen knocking Crosby's stick into his face, and embellishment by Karlsson that was also known as Douglas "Crankshaft" Murray yanking him by the neck), ultimately culminating on a laser shot from Tyler Kennedy that put the Penguins up 1-0 just one minute before intermission.

Third period. The real story for most of the period was CBC's Bryan Murray isolated camera reaction shots. Bryan Murray might be the most entertaining GM in hockey right now when his team comes oh-so-close to scoring and ultimately fails. And that's pretty much all that happened.

At least, that was all that happened until Erik Karlsson reaped the rewards of being labeled a diver. A blatant, atrocious high stick in the face by (who else) Matt Cooke went uncalled, denying Ottawa a power play that they sorely needed. With less than two minutes to go, Karlsson slashed Cooke's stick, had his break in half, and was sent to the box. Down 1-0 and shorthanded, it seemed all but lost. And then...

Daniel Alfredsson.

We head to overtime.

Bryan Murray might need to see a doctor about his heart after this period. So. Many. Chances. Both teams. Craig Anderson was outstanding, as was the entire Penguins defence. Spezza was losing faceoffs but winning battles. The Penguins missed passes. But right before everyone's heart gives out...

We head to second overtime.

Chris Phillips takes another questionable penalty, this time getting hooked into a tug of war with (who else) Matt Cooke. Somehow, in overtime, the Senators manage to kill it off. Soon after, Matt Niskanen takes a penalty for Pittsburgh. Fortunately for the Penguins, Ottawa's regular season power play made its triumphant (?) return.

Not 20 seconds later, the line of Colin Greening, Erik Condra, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau break out. Passing and chaos ensue. Then, to break the tie 27:39 into overtime, Colin Greening knocks one in. Senators win 2-1 in one of the most entertaining games in Ottawa Senators history.

Sens Hero: Colin Greening
Greening has easily been one of the best Senators this round, if not the best. Tonight he managed to pull off another feat in potting the game-winner. During the play he also was high-sticked in the face, slicing him enough that he had to have fiberglass removed from his face. He still did an interview with CBC first.

Sens Hero: Colin Greening
Yeah, I'm giving it to him twice. Double hero for double overtime.

Sens Hero: Daniel Alfredsson
At 40-years old the captain is still oftentimes the best Senator on the ice. If nothing else he is the most composed and most consistent performer. Scoring shorthanded with under 30 seconds to go in regulation is incredible, and it's going to go down as one of the biggest goals in his career.

Sens Hero: Craig Anderson
Andy Ice bounced back from his worst two performances of the season with one of his best, stopping 49 shots en route to a double-overtime win. Your goaltender is often your most valuable player, and when Anderson is on his game the Senators always have a chance.

Pens Hero: Tomas Vokoun
46 saves for the Penguins' "backup" goaltender. An excellent performance that - like Anderson's - was equal parts luck and skill. Pittsburgh's goaltending takes a beating from critics, but make no mistake, Tomas Vokoun has been more than up to the task.

Sens Emergency Ward: Chris Neil was knocked down from behind after losing an edge and suffered an upper body injury. Our resident doctor Jo Innes guesses separated shoulder.

Honourable Mentions: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Erik Condra, Marc Methot, Andre Benoit, Jason Spezza

Shot Chart:

Shotchart_2013-05-19_penguins_medium

Highlights:


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