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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, May 22nd (All times Eastern)
(1) Pittsburgh Penguins (2-1) at (7) Ottawa Senators (1-2), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will aim for a second straight win on Wednesday, as they host the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Scotiabank Place.
The Penguins won Games 1 and 2 of this best-of-seven series on home ice, but seventh-seeded Ottawa answered with a 2-1 double-overtime victory in Sunday's encounter in Canada's capital city.
Pittsburgh will try to bounce back on Wednesday after letting one slip away in Game 3. The Pens held a 1-0 edge late in the third and seemed poised to take a commanding 3-0 series lead after Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson went to the box for slashing at the 18:33 mark of the final frame. But the Senators put together one final rush, with goaltender Craig Anderson heading to the bench as his team skated the puck up the ice.
Milan Michalek received the disc at the left point and feathered a beautiful pass to the front of the net for a cutting Daniel Alfredsson, who one-touched the puck over Tomas Vokoun to tie the game with 28.6 seconds left on the clock.
"Obviously we let this one slip away," Vokoun admitted. "Getting scored on on our power play with 30 seconds...sometimes you have to go through adversity and this is ours."
Colin Greening then scored the game-winner 7:39 into the second OT, as the resilient Senators outlasted the Pens. On the deciding goal, Andre Benoit fired a shot from the right faceoff dot that Vokoun fought off, but Greening was there on the low right side to backhand the rebound into the back of net.
Anderson, who was pulled early in the second period of Ottawa's Game 2 setback, bounced back with a 49-save performance for the Senators.
"You just want to give your team a chance to win," Anderson said. "Sometimes stats are misleading. You just kind of build off the good stuff."
The Senators improved to 3-0 as the home team in the playoffs after going 15-6-3 as the host during the regular season.
Ottawa centerman Jason Spezza, who underwent back surgery on Feb. 1, returned to the lineup for the first time since the fifth game of the regular season and he recorded four shots in 18:40 of ice time.
Sens defenseman Eric Gryba and forward Chris Neil are questionable are battling upper-body injuries. Neil is expected to be available tonight, while Gryba will sit out a third straight game since taking a big hit from Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik in the opener of this series.
Tyler Kennedy scored the lone Pittsburgh goal, while Vokoun was handed his first loss of the postseason despite stopping 46-of-48 shots for the Penguins, who went a woeful 0-for-6 on the power play.
The Penguins entered the contest 10-for-31 on the power play (1st in the NHL) this postseason.
While Pittsburgh's power play was shut out, forward Evgeni Malkin also was held without a point for the first time this postseason. The Russian star has 14 points on three goals and 11 assists during these playoffs, leaving him second in the league in points behind Boston's David Krejci, who has 16 points.
The Pens, who will host Game 5 on Friday, are 2-2 on the road in the playoffs. Pittsburgh had identical 18-6-0 records at home and on the road during the regular season.
05/22 10:58:10 ET