Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Senators Still In Session

There will be at least one more game for the Ottawa Senators, after forcing a seventh and deciding game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a come from behind 2-1 win.  The Penguins had everything on their side; momentum from two straight victories to take a 3-2 series league, including a 7-0 beat down in the last game.  They also have the best player in the game, in Sidney Crosby, regaining his form, leading the charge.

In other words, the Senators needed a miracle to force one more game.

I'm wouldn't say it was a miracle, but Craig Anderson put on a sensational performance in net for Ottawa.  The man that was pulled twice in the first period of game 5, stood on his head, making 45 saves.  He robbed Crosby on several occasions.  For a player that is checked as closely as Crosby, the Pittsburgh captain found a way to get open for some point blank chances.  But, Anderson was there to stop him every time.

Yet, Anderson only managed to be named the 3rd star of the game, behind Bobby Ryan and Mike Hoffman.  There's some explaining to do there, though I doubt Anderson really cares about that too much.

The Senators' power-play has been anemic in its last 29 chances, failing to score even once.  But, when it needed it the most, the power-play came through with the tying goal after Evgeni Malkin put the Penguins in the lead with a great solo effort in the second period. Granted, it took a 5-3 advantage to get that goal, but all that matters was the game was tied at 1-1.  Bobby Ryan one timed a pass from Kyle Turris, beating Murray.

At 1:34 of the third period, Mike Hoffman took a pass from defenceman, Frederik Claesson, and blew a shot past Matt Murray, off the post and in, sending the Canadian Tire Centre into a joyous frenzy.

The Senators would bend as Pittsburgh came after them hard, but they would not break.  It should not come as a surprise that Ottawa has force a game 7, with the way they have come back on several occasions during these playoffs.

The question now is can they do this again in enemy territory?

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