The Ottawa Senators rallied to beat the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in two overtimes after being half a minute away from a three-games-to-none deficit in their National Hockey League playoff series.
The Senators trailed 1-0 and were a man down when Daniel Alfredsson scored a shorthanded goal with 29 seconds left in the third period last night in Ottawa. Colin Greening then scored the winner for Ottawa 7:39 into the second overtime, the longest game so far of the NHL’s postseason.
“We had a lot of energy from our fans, rallied around our troops and we found a way,” Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, who made 49 saves, said in a television interview.
The Senators’ win came after the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 5-2 for a two-games-to-none lead in the NHL’s other Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Detroit Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks tonight in Game 3 of their Western Conference series, which is tied at one game apiece. The San Jose Sharks host the defending Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings tomorrow trailing 2-1 in games. All series are best-of-seven.
The Penguins went ahead 1-0 on a second-period goal from Tyler Kennedy and appeared to be on the verge of taking a commanding series lead when Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson was sent off for a slashing penalty with 1:27 left in the third period.
“You like to think that you can hold onto the puck for the last 1:27 with the power play, but that wasn’t the case and they came up with the huge goal,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said at his postgame news conference.
Ottawa gained control of the puck, with Milan Michalek and Sergei Gonchar bringing it up ice and sending a pass in front of the net to Alfredsson, who flipped it over the shoulder of Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun.
In the second overtime, Vokoun stopped a wrist shot by Andre Benoit before Greening sent a backhanded shot into the net for the winning goal.
Ottawa will also host Game 4 on May 22.
The Bruins-Rangers series heads to New York’s Madison Square Garden for Game 3 tomorrow.
Boston snapped a 2-2 tie at home yesterday on Johnny Boychuck’s goal midway through the second period. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic added third-period goals for the Bruins, the fourth seed in the East.
Torey Krug and Gregory Campbell also scored for Boston, while Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash had goals for the Rangers, who went 0-for-5 on the power play. New York is 0-for-21 with a man advantage on the road this postseason and has two power-play goals in 36 chances overall in the playoffs.
“It’s frustrating,” Nash said. “That’s when you’re supposed to crawl back into a game or take a lead. It’s on the players and the guys out there to execute.”
The Rangers are now 1-5 on the road this postseason. They also lost their first two games in Washington in their previous playoff series before recovering to win in seven games.
“We’ll be excited to get home and play in front of our fans,” Nash told reporters. “We’ll look forward to it.”