KANATA, Ontario - The Penguins dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 double overtime game to the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place Sunday night.
Despite the setback, the Penguins still have a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinals series against Ottawa.
Pittsburgh held a 1-0 lead and was on a power play with less than a minute to play in regulation. But the Senators pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker and captain Daniel Alfredsson scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game with 28.6 seconds left.
It took 27:39 minutes of extra time for the game to be decided, which it was when Colin Greening scored on a rebound.
“It’s unfortunate, but whether you lose in double overtime or 10-1, a loss is a loss,” Sidney Crosby said. “We’ll have to make sure we bounce back next game.”
“We have to find a way to close that out,” Brandon Sutter said. “We’re down to one-minute left and we’re on the power play. There’s no reason they should get a guy open like that.”
Ironically, the game was one of the Penguins’ best overall performances in this postseason, from execution to winning puck battles to being responsible defensively.
“There was a lot to like about the way our team played,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “It was a tough-fought game. Five-on-five we had a lot of chances. We had a couple really good opportunities, breakaways, two-on-ones, we didn’t capitalize on it.
“There was a lot of battle in that game. A lot of great play from the team. We just came out on the short end of a tough-fought two-overtime game.”
A major bright spot was the play of goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who finished the night with 46 saves.
“I think it was Tomas’ best game,” Bylsma said.
Game 4 will be Wednesday night at Scotiabank Place at 7:30 p.m. That contest will be the difference between a 3-1 series lead for the Penguins or a deadlocked 2-2 tie.
“We’ve been happy with the way we’ve played the first three games here,” Sutter said. “There are things you can be negative about and correct, but we have to stay positive. We’ve been playing well. We want to keep doing what we’re doing and not change anything. I still think we’re playing well.”
“It’s a race to four wins and it’s 2-1,” Matt Cooke said. “We need to learn a lesson from tonight and move on. We have to play Wednesday and that becomes the most important game.”