|Dustin Penner's goal at 4:07 of the third period gave the Ducks a 3-1 lead in the 2007 Stanley Cup Final.|
Thanks to Monday's night's 3-2 win by the Ducks, the Stanley Cup will be ready for a potential unveiling Wednesday. Anaheim holds a commanding 3-1 series lead now with Monday's victory at Scotiabank Place.
The Ducks overcame the suspension to defenseman Chris Pronger, a bad first period in which they were out-shot 13-2, and a decidedly hostile environment at Scotiabank Place to grab a very clutch win.
"It's not a surprise because we've done this previously in the earlier series against Detroit," Carlyle said of winning minus Pronger. "We were able to do it and the difference was it was at home. So, we had an opportunity to match up differently. But again, it just proves the point that our players have found a way to reach back and give more when it's been asked of them."
Andy McDonald scored two second-period goals and J.S. Giguere was strong in net for the Ducks, but it was big Dustin Penner scoring the winning goal at 4:07 of the third period, capitalizing on a nice pass from Teemu Selanne off a 2-on-1 break for the goal that salted the game away.
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Penner and Selanne played give-and-go with the puck, leaving defenseman Anton Volchenkov unable to disrupt Selanne's pass across to Penner and his ensuing shot into the net.
"Teemu kind of fed me coming off the bench when I was in the middle of the ice," Penner said. "I gave it back to him, then just drove the net and he put it right on my tape and I had an open net to put it in."
It was a goal that effectively stuck a dagger in the Senators' heart.
"They did some good things," Senators coach Bryan Murray said of Anaheim's defensive efforts in the third period. "All they had to do at that point was flip the puck out of problems. I think when you get a lead late in the game, you can make the other team look fairly inept at times.
"We had a couple of plays down low. Couple times to take to the net, but got taken off the puck. But the Penner goal was obviously a bad goal on our part."
The victory was Anaheim's 12th one-goal win of these playoffs, tying a League record. The Ducks received great efforts from Niedermayer, who played 29 minutes and 53 seconds, Francois Beauchemin (31:40) and Sean O'Donnell (23:54). At least one of those always seemed to be on the ice.
"Tonight, I actually felt pretty good," Niedermayer said. "I felt (assistant coach) Dave Farrish, who changes the defensemen, was rotating us out there at different times. We had different partners a lot during the game. I never felt I was getting caught out there too tired."
Ottawa got goals from Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley, a development that would have meant victory in past series, but not against the Ducks, who shook off a shaky first period to take command of the game and, now, the series.
Unable to gain more than one first-period goal, despite their domination, proved costly to the Senators.
"We played well. We didn't get rewarded until the last second of the first," Murray said. "We had certainly enough shooting chances and opportunity to jump on them.
|Andy McDonald had two goals and an assist in the Ducks' 3-2 win.
"(But) you don't take advantage of it. They made a little adjustment in the second, and we started forcing the play.Other than that, there was no reason to play the way we did in the second period. I thought we played a little harder in the third. But we started breaking down. They got two-on-one chances. They did things … guys that don't normally make the plays, they tried to make tonight got caught and it burned us."
The Senators will now invoke the name of the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the only team in NHL history to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the Final, as they head to California hoping to prolong the series.
"If we play like we did for two periods tonight, it's not very good," Murray said of his team's chances. "If we play like we did in the first period and go in there and play with, play position a little better and don't give up the type (of goal) like Andy McDonald's goal, walking in, walking around our D, two-on-one goal. Those are not very good goals to give up at playoff time."
As strong as Ottawa was in the first period, dominating in shots, 13-2, and leading 1-0, the Ducks were the superior team in the second, but were only able to come out of the period with a 2-2 tie.
Anaheim's 13-4 lead in shots in the second was clearly earned and two goals by McDonald a minute apart put the Ducks into the lead.
With Chris Phillips off for hooking at 8:02, the Ducks finally got on the scoreboard with McDonald scoring on the power play.
Taking a pass from Todd Marchant from behind the net, McDonald took his time with the shot, essentially out-waiting Ottawa goalie Ray Emery, and lifting the puck into the net to make it a 1-1 tie.
Just a minute later, McDonald struck again, taking a great saucer pass from Rob Niedermayer and breaking into the Ottawa end, where he deked Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov into oblivion and then slipped a backhanded shot under his left pad.
"You need to score goals to win a hockey game," Scott Niedermayer said of McDonald's two-goal contribution. "And what you need is from different lines at different times. That line was the difference in the game for us."
With the tables seemingly turned, the Senators struggled to regain their composure, and Emery played a big role with 3:47 remaining in the period when Beauchemin took a pass on a 2-on-1 and had lots of open net, only to see Emery stick out his glove and make a terrific, game-saving stop.
The Senators drew even at the 18:00 mark when Dany Heatley, coming into the game with one goal in nine games and now playing on a line with Jason Spezza and Patrick Eaves, scored his seventh goal of the playoffs.
Eaves, in the lineup because Dean McAmmond wasn't able to go after absorbing the elbow from Pronger in Game 3 that resulted in the defenseman's suspension, keyed the goal, making a slick pass from behind the Anaheim net to Heatley in front for the tying goal.
|Bryan Murray and the Senators have a lot to think about before Wednesday's Game 5.
The Senators dominated the first period, out-shooting Anaheim by a 13-2 count, but seemed destined for a scoreless tie until Alfredsson scored a power-play goal with three-tenths of a second remaining in the opening 20 minutes.
Coincidental minors to Anaheim's Corey Perry and Ottawa's Eaves at 17:11 seemed inconsequential enough until Ryan Getzlaf was whistled for goaltender interference, colliding with Emery at 18:16, setting up a 4-on-3 power play for the Senators.
The Sens didn't seem destined to generate anything with the man advantage, the power play looking downright inept until Mike Fisher, who was the best player on the ice in the period, created a turnover in the right corner and got the puck to Peter Schaefer behind the Anaheim net, who in turn spotted Alfredsson open in front. The Sens' captain fired immediately and slipped the puck under the arm of Giguere with just a fraction of a second remaining on the clock.
"I think we were doing the same things we did in Game 3 in the first period, taking penalties, not making good decisions with the puck," Scott Niedermayer said. "After that, we felt a bit lucky, managed to regroup; played a lot better in the next two periods. We knew we had to. There was no option at that point. We had to come out and be a lot better."
"I thought that we really got carried away early in the hockey game with some of the emotions," Carlyle said. "I think we were actually trying too hard. It was one of those situations where it was possibly an over-preparation on the focus and the mental aspect of it that we wanted to do so well that it was counterproductive for us."
Like the three earlier games in the series, there was no shortage of hits in the period, but the action seemed all the more intense in Game 4.
The Ducks found themselves in the penalty box just 58 seconds into the game when Beauchemin was called for slashing Chris Neil. The Senators weren't able to generate on the power play.
Energized by the tremendous fan support, the Senators did have the edge in play throughout, forcing the Ducks into the role of counter-puncher. Giguere was busy in the Anaheim net, but wasn't severely tested until Perry was called for cross checking Chris Phillips in the Ottawa end at 3:54 and the Senators put some good pressure on Giguere, including a pair of stops on Antoine Vermette.
|PPG - Daniel Alfredsson (12) ASST: Peter Schaefer (4), Mike Fisher (4)|
1 - 0 OTT
|Andy McDonald (8) ASST: Todd Marchant (3), Corey Perry (8)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Andy McDonald (9) ASST: Rob Niedermayer (5), Sean O'Donnell (2)|
2 - 1 ANA
|Dany Heatley (7) ASST: Patrick Eaves (2), Jason Spezza (15)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Dustin Penner (3) ASST: Teemu Selanne (10), Andy McDonald (3)|
3 - 2 ANA
|Francois Beauchemin Slashing against Chris Neil|
|Corey Perry Cross checking against Chris Neil|
|Chris Neil Interference on goalkeeper against Jean-Sebastien Giguere|
|Corey Perry Roughing against Patrick Eaves|
|Patrick Eaves Holding against Corey Perry|
|Ryan Getzlaf Interference on goalkeeper against Ray Emery|
|Chris Neil Interference against Travis Moen|
|Chris Phillips Hooking against Brad May|
|Mike Fisher Roughing against Samuel Pahlsson|
|Samuel Pahlsson Roughing against Mike Fisher|
|Francois Beauchemin Holding against Chris Kelly|