The Stanley Cup first round of the playoffs came to Ottawa tonight, as the Ottawa Senators
came home tonight to face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the series.
Unfortunately, it was not a good outcome for Ottawa.
The Penguins played the rough and tumble style of game, capped off with some speed and finesse, and beat the Sens at home 4-2, to take a 2 games to 1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Pittsburgh outshot Ottawa 24-21 in the game, not a huge margin by any means, but the game wasn't as close as the shots or the score indicated. The Penguins had a 4-1 lead at one point, completely taking the game to the Senators, and to be honest, Ottawa Senators' goalie Brian Elliott let in a couple of soft goals. His counterpart, Marc-André Fleury, on the other hand, was solid in goal all night, and gave the Senators fits when they did have decent scoring opportunities.
Once again, both teams played as physical a game as I've seen all years, no doubt a match for the game played on Friday in Pittsburgh (which I missed due to gaming), but this game was relatively clean in terms of the hits, even if they were pretty solid contacts each and every time. These two teams obviously have a bit of a hate on for each other, which is adding some spice to the games of course, but when push comes to shove, the Penguins skill and speed far outmatches for the most part that of Ottawa. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are giving the Senators defense fits, and while Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson have momentary flashes of brilliance, they are being checked so tight that they're having difficulty putting the puck in the net, let alone setting up plays.
So, now we wait to Tuesday's rematch here in Ottawa. The Senators need to win that match. They dare not go back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 down three games to one. That would be a Very Bad Thing (tm).