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Penguins 'have to regroup' after stunning loss

by Erin Nicks

OTTAWA -- It took three games, but the Pittsburgh Penguins finally got their first real taste of the so-called "Pesky Sens."

The Ottawa Senators' Game 3 victory in their Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Penguins provided hope to the flailing Canadian club, which was down 2-0 in the best-of-7 series, and trailing with 30 seconds to go, before getting a 2-1 double-overtime win Sunday.

For the Penguins, it's back to the drawing board after a loss that left them exhausted, perplexed and a bit snippy.

"What do you want me to say? The game just finished and I don't know … we have to regroup," forward Tanner Glass said.

After Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson scored a shorthanded goal with 28.6 seconds left in regulation to push the game into overtime, the Penguins appeared to come out swinging in the first extra period. Evgeni Malkin buzzed around the net, but Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson was up to the challenge every time.

"[Malkin] had numerous plays and numerous pucks," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "He had a lot of opportunities [Sunday] and went to the cage hard, but Anderson was up to the task. [Our entire team] had a lot of chances out there. We had a couple of great chances, 2-on-1 [plays] that we didn't capitalize on. There was a lot of battle and a lot of great play. We just came out on the short end."

Senators forward Colin Greening scored 7:39 into the second overtime to keep the Penguins from taking a 3-0 stranglehold on the series. It was Ottawa's second straight home win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with goals in the final 30 seconds of regulation and overtime (the first came against the Montreal Canadiens in the quarterfinals).

Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby was eager to forget the night, already looking forward to Game 4 Wednesday at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"Win or lose, you've got to make sure you turn the page," Crosby said. "If we come with the same effort, and find a way to execute, we'll give ourselves a chance. That's hockey. It's unfortunate [Ottawa] was able to tie it so late in the game, but we had our chances, too. We'll have to find a way to get them [Wednesday]."

Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who faced 48 shots -- 20 during the two overtime periods -- had his best game of the postseason so far, according to his coach.

"Ottawa had some great flurries," Bylsma said. "[Erik] Karlsson snuck in a couple of times and Vokoun was so strong around the net. He was extremely good, but Anderson was one better at the end."

Vokoun said he didn't see what happened on the tying goal.

"It was just a kind of a long pass and [Alfredsson] just tipped it in," Vokoun said.

"We let this one slip away," Vokoun continued. "To let [Ottawa] score on our power play, that's tough to take. Sometimes you have to go through adversity. I guess this is ours. The game has to end somehow, and there's nothing we can do about it. We have to let the emotion come down tonight, and tomorrow is a new day. We're still up 2-1 [in the series] and now Wednesday is a big game for us."

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