After vowing to stick to their ways hours earlier, the Senators thoroughly entertained a packed house at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday.
At one point after they had taken a 4-0 first-period lead, a new chant was started among the faithful.
“One-three-one,” they hollered in tribute to Guy Boucher’s defensive system.
In the third, the fans started a “we want six” call. They meant a sixth goal, but what they’d really like is six more wins.
That would give Ottawa the Cup — and boring hockey a good reputation.
STARTS AND STOPS
The Senators did jump out of the gate with a strong surge. Chasing Marc-Andre Fleury could come back to bite the Senators. Now they’ve got to deal with the guy who led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup last spring, goaltender Matt Murray … Erik Karlsson had a little fun at the expense of Sidney Crosby in the first period. After watching the Penguins captain put a hand to his mouth to say something to a teammate, Karlsson did the same, pretending to pass on a message to one of his guys … Crosby entered the night with eight goals and seven assists in 10 career playoff games at Canadian Tire Centre … After going more than a year without a goal, Marc Methot has now scored twice in his past eight games. On Monday, he also added an assist and took a blast that Murray stopped … Through two periods, Methot was a plus-4 and Crosby was a minus-3 … Karlsson, who picked up his fist point of the East final, was also a plus-4 …That must have felt like pretty good payback for the slash … Fleury looked to be sleeping on the Zack Smith’s wraparound goal that chased him … Former Leafs Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel were going at each other pretty good during a first period skirmish, while Alex Burrows was obviously being pesky enough to get Evgeni Malkin angry.
Important to note that Craig Anderson remained sharp for a fourth consecutive game. He made two big glove saves off Carter Rowney (with the Senators on the power play) and Kessel in the second period … The first standing ovation of the game was during a first period break and a picture of Jonathan Pitre was put on the scoreboard. Earlier in the day, Guy Boucher passed along a message to the “Butterfly Boy” to open up his morning availability. “It’s a great day today,” said Boucher. Big news — Jonathan Pitre’s treatments are working well. I’d like to say ‘hi’ to Jonathan, and what a great fight you’re having. We’re thinking of you.” … Mark Stone got a few good shots in on Malkin during the end of second scrum. Jean-Gabriel Pageau also bullied the big Russian centre. … Malkin also was jeered by the crowd when he slid into the corner and wound up in a heap with a teammate in the second.
POINT TO POINT
The Penguins are not going to take this loss lightly. After being thrashed like they were in Game 3, expect an inspired effort from the defending champs in Game 4 … It was fitting that Mike Hoffman opened the onslaught from behind the goal line at 48 seconds, after he fanned on two last-minute chances to tie Game 2 … Wonder if Crosby took a look at the front page of the Sun on Wednesday, saw the story about Eugene Melnyk complaining about the location of a casino opening in Ottawa, and thought to himself, “sheesh, what a whiner.” … Many have speculated that Smith has been playing with an injury. The Senators centre sure looked like his old self on Wednesday, turning in a solid performance … In a morning conversation with him, you could tell Pageau was clearly tickled to have the “All In” giveaway towels feature his image on this night … Pageau had a decision to make when he was 17 — hockey or baseball. Asked where he would be if he had chosen to keep playing baseball, he replied with a grin: “Hopefully, the MLB.”
There’s nothing worse for a sports writer than having his computer blow up and losing all his copy with just one period left. Trying to remember everything I had written in the 45 minutes until deadline is tough and stressful. I am officially not a fan of Word Press. But hey, enough about me … The Senators power play is back in another funk. On Wednesday it was 0-for-4 … Kyle Turris hit the post with a break in the third … Pageau is now 3-for-3 against Crosby on opening face-offs … Stone’s feistiness continued last in the third when he went at it with Scott Wilson. Malkin jumped in to earn himself his second late 10-minute misconduct in two games … Burrows only played six minutes and two seconds …The three stars announced in the building: 1. Anderson, 2. Ryan, 3. Phaneuf.