Date/Time: May 22nd, 7:30 PM ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Penguins -140
The Ottawa Senators took a huge step in the right direction on Sunday, taking down the Pittsburgh Penguins to move onto a Game 4 with a shot to level their second round series at two games apiece. That opportunity comes tonight at Scotia Bank Place, where the Sens hope to avoid what would be a catastrophic defeat.
Even though the Penguins were pushed to six games by the New York Islanders unexpectedly in the first round of the playoffs, the one thing that remained consistent is the fact that they were playing well offensively. The team had scored at least three goals in every playoff game that it had played this year until Game 3 of this series. Only one goal hit the board, though there were countless great opportunities as well that were either unluckily wide (or off the post) or unbelievably saved by G Craig Anderson. However, the defense really stepped it up as well for 59:31, as at that point, G Tomas Vokoun was pitching a shutout. The goal that came at 19:31 of the third period with the team on the power play and an empty net on the other end of the ice proved to be disastrous though, as an hour later, the team was skating off of the ice with a loss under its belt in a game that really should have been comfortably had.
Ottawa has to be flying sky high, and it should be thanking its goalie for what it was able to do in Game 3. Over the course of the 4+ periods of action, Anderson faced a whopping 50 shots on goal, and he was able to get to 49 of them. He was fortunate in the overtime period, getting saved by the post on multiple occasions to essentially save the season, but the truth of the matter is that Anderson deserved the help for as well as he played. What really impressed us was the gumption which Ottawa had to fight back in such a devastating spot in Game 3. LW Daniel Alfredsson did get some help thanks to some shoddy play by the Pittsburgh defense, but he did everything that he could to get to the net, even when his team was down a man in the closing seconds to get the goal of the year, and one of the biggest goals in the history of the Ottawa Senators.
Unfortunately for Ottawa, momentum can only carry you so far. If not for the fact that Anderson practically stood on his head in this game, the team would be down 3-0 and be facing elimination tonight. Instead, we think that elimination will only be staved off for a matter of one more game. The Penguins are definitively the better of these two teams, and it will show on Wednesday night in what could be a one-sided romp.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators Game 4 Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -140
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.