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Senators look to build off double-OT win in Game 4

by Brian Hunter


(Pittsburgh leads best-of-7 series, 2-1)


Big story: Holding Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Jarome Iginla and Kris Letang off the board in the same game isn't an easy feat to accomplish, but the Ottawa Senators did it Sunday night. They also got an incredible shorthanded goal in the final half-minute of the third period and went on to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in double overtime to climb back into their Eastern Conference Semifinals series. They'll try to tie things up Wednesday before action shifts back to Consol Energy Center.

Team Scope:

Penguins: The opportunity is still there for Pittsburgh to make this a short series -- a victory in Game 4 would give them a commanding 3-1 lead heading back home. But the Penguins also may be in for a fight similar to or even greater than the one the New York Islanders gave them in the first round, and they only have themselves to blame.

Tyler Kennedy's goal late in the second period and the shutout goaltending of Tomas Vokoun had the Penguins up 1-0 in the latter stages of the third when Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson was sent off for slashing the stick of Matt Cooke. The Penguins didn't need to score, merely to control the puck and make it tough for the Senators to pull Craig Anderson for an extra attacker. They failed at that, then lost track of Daniel Alfredsson on the game-tying goal.

"We let this one slip away," Vokoun said. "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're still up 2-1 [in the series] and now Wednesday is a big game for us."

Senators: The big story at the start of Game 3 was the return of center Jason Spezza to the lineup after missing more than three months following back surgery. Spezza didn't have a point and was on the ice for Kennedy's goal, but he skated 33 shifts for 18:40 of ice time and came out feeling fine, despite absorbing a crushing hit from Craig Adams in the first overtime.

By the end of the night, all the talk was about Milan Michalek and Alfredsson teaming up for the brilliant, game-tying goal with 28.6 seconds left in regulation, and Colin Greening scoring the winner 7:39 into the second OT despite still having shards of fiberglass in his cheek from a high stick he took earlier in the contest.

"I think if you look at our team, especially in the latter part of the season, we've been winning games when we've had to," Greening said. "In a situation like tonight when you're down 1-0, to be honest, they were playing really well in the last 10 minutes, they were staying above us and it was hard to get any momentum. But we had to keep at it and stay with the structure of our team. It was nice to see because you get rewarded for things like that."

Who's hot: Kennedy has two goals and an assist in five games since the Penguins inserted him in the lineup for Game 5 against the Islanders, despite playing mostly fourth-line minutes. Vokoun made 46 saves Sunday. … Greening has a goal in all three games for the Senators. Forward Erik Condra has one goal and five assists during a four-game points streak. Anderson rebounded from getting pulled in Game 2 with 49 saves.

Injury report: Ottawa forward Chris Neil suffered an arm injury in Game 3 but has been cleared to play. Defenseman Eric Gryba (upper body) has missed the past two games. Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch (lower body) hasn't played since Game 3 of the first round against the Montreal Canadiens.

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