OTTAWA (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead when they take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
While the case could certainly be made that the Penguins should be looking for the sweep tonight, you have to give the Senators credit for overcoming adversity in Game 3.
The Penguins were awarded a power play with 1:27 left in the third period. Already leading 1-0 in the contest, the game seemed all but over.
However, a defensive lapse left captain Daniel Alfredsson all alone in front of Tomas Vokoun for the game-tying goal with just 29 seconds left in regulation.
Craig Anderson was spectacular in the game and Colin Greening scored in the second overtime period to cut the series lead for the Penguins to 2-1.
Now, the Penguins will need to forget about that squandered opportunity as they shift their attention to Game 4 tonight.
The Senators got an emotional boost with the return of Jason Spezza in Game 3. Spezza only played in five regular season games before undergoing back surgery. He was a minus-1 with four shots on goal in Game 3.
Alfredsson leads the team with eight points (three goals, five assists) in the playoffs. Kyle Turris and Jean-Gabriel Pageau lead the team with four goals.
In goal, Anderson rebounded well after being pulled in Game 2. His 49 save performance in Game 3 kept his team around long enough and gave them a chance to win.
As for Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin continues to lead the team with 14 points (three goals, 11 assists). Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis are tied for the team lead in goals with six each.
In goal, Tomas Vokoun has done a great job since taking over the net to start Game 5 against the Islanders. While he deserved a better outcome in Game 3, Vokoun is still 4-1 with a 1.61 GAA and .949 save percentage in the playoffs.
Keys To Victory
Keep Testing Anderson
The performance he turned in in Game 3 should come as no surprise to anyone. He was 12-9-2 with a 1.69 GAA and a .941 save percentage in the regular season.
The way you beat a goalie in a zone like that is to do what the Penguins have done through the first three games of the series. Put pucks on net early, often and crash for rebounds. Get traffic in front and make it difficult for Anderson to see the puck. Gritty goals are beautiful goals this time of year.
Not for lack of trying, but Neal needs to light the lamp. In seven playoff games, Neal has only one goal. However, he’s put 17 shots on net and has had a few good looks in this series. If Neal can find a way to bury one tonight, it could very easily get him on a roll.
The Penguins were 0-for-6 on the power play in Game 3, including a failed 5-on-3 advantage in the second period. Even worse, the Senators scored the previously mentioned shorthanded goal to tie the game and force overtime.
The Penguins are now 3-for-16 on the power play in the series. If the Senators are going to keep parading themselves to the penalty box, the Penguins need to make them pay for it.
The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. and you can watch the game on NBC Sports Network.
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