Senators chase Fleury, rout Penguins 5-1 in Game 3

Accused of being boring in just about every corner of the hockey world after two games of the East final, the Ottawa Senators left the defending Stanley Cup champions red-faced and embarrassed with a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 on Wednesday night at the Canadian Tire Centre to take a 2-1 series lead. Ottawa's first game on home ice in a conference final in 10 years was better than could have possibly been expected and when the horn sounded on the first 20 minutes, Ottawa's 4-0 lead was more than enough to propel them to a 5-1 win and a 2-1 series lead. Only 48 seconds into the first, Hoffman banked one off Fleury from behind the net to take the lead.

(To be fair, something about the way Ottawa plays seems allergic to trying to score goals.) Still, Pittsburgh is just about half a team right now, Crosby is still riding a pointless streak, they have no idea who will be on defense at this point and they managed to even this series at 1-1. He nearly completely shut down the Blue Jackets' attack in three of five contests, he absolutely flustered the Capitals' offense, stealing at least two games in the second round, and, heading into Wednesday, had only failed to stop two of the Senators' 58 shots.

However, he was pulled after allowing four goals on nine shots in the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Head coach Mike Sullivan will likely make it a game-time decision, but honestly don't be surprised either way. "I know we're getting some chances, but it's not coming up on the scoresheet for us". "It's not going to go 16 games in a row perfectly".

It's also not clear whether Matt Murray or Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal for Game 4. "When you're flatfooted and down by a few in the first couple minutes it's not a good feeling and I don't think we're going to let that happen again". "We're going to go back and expect a one goal game". They dominated Game 2 despite all the injuries, and this playoff season has shown that momentum has the expiry rate of raw eggs. I understand. They want to be in the net.

"We know it's not going to be like that next game", said Hoffman.

When I'm watching a game and I have no real rooting interest in who wins and loses there is only one thing I want, and that's to be entertained.

"I just think we've got to be more ready to play from the drop of the puck", said Sullivan, who added that he hadn't yet given thought to who would start in goal. Game 3 versus the Ottawa Senators was putrid and over within the first 13 minutes of the game. Murray came out to play well in relief Wednesday, but it's hard to really judge anything from that performance since the game was already over. And after fourteen games of edge of your seat, tense close hockey games (aside from the first two games in NY in round 2), it was nice for Senators fans to have a boring old 4 goal lead for most of a game for a change.

Patric Hornqvist missed the past two games, and Justin Schultz and Bryan Rust were each knocked out of Game 2 and missed Game 3. Streit appeared for the first time in the playoffs. Daley was injured in Game 5 of the second-round series against Washington.

  • Julie Sanders