“Boring” Sens Come Back To Life For Game 3

The same Senators who lulled many a hockey fan to sleep to begin the Eastern Conference finals sent the series into a frenzy with a five-goal outburst in Wednesday’s Game 3, converting their 5-1 victory into a two-games-to-one lead over a Penguins team that for the first time these playoffs crumpled under the weight of mounting injury woes.
For watching such a stodgy group, Canadian Tire Centre was raucous, hosting its most important hockey game in 10 years, chanting for six.
The Sens were quick to disprove critics of the dull, bend-but-don’t break trap system they’ve deployed to slow the defending Cup champs with a goal 48 seconds into the game and three more in a span of 2:18 later in the first period. Games 1 and 2 in Pittsburgh featured four goals in total.
Mike Hoffman got the party started.
The Sens winger was in the right place, right time when a friendly puck caught the end boards and Hoffman exploited an opening between Marc-Andre Fleury and the near post.
Then, with 10:34 gone in the period, Marc Methot’s second goal of the playoffs set off the quickest three-goal run in Senators playoff history. By the time Zack Smith’s bank-shot wraparound goal made it 4-0 Ottawa with 7:08 to play, Pittsburgh pulled Fleury, who allowed the trio of goal on three successive shots, in favor of Matt Murray, who who last saw game action April 4.
All in all, it’s an alarming loss for Pittsburgh, but not a damning one. At least not yet.
Ottawa went 0-for-4 on the power play and hasn’t scored with the man advantage in eight straight games. A case could be made that the majority of the goals the Pens gave up were fluky or the product of a rusty defense that could right itself before Friday’s critical Game 4, which should be all-telling.
Who said this series isn’t interesting?
Source: Sporting New/Brandon Schlager
Photo: © Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

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