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Late goal by Pittsburgh sinks Sens comeback/Alfie could be back for Game 3

April 11, 2008, 7:03 PM ET [ Comments]

The Senators showed a ton of character tonight in fighting back from a 3-0 deficit but the Penguins showed their resiliency and pulled out a win in Game 2 as Ryan Malone scored the gamewinner with a minute to go on the PP. Malone then added an empty netter to make the final 5-3 in favour of Pittsburgh.

What a difference in the effort level from this Sens team tonight. Many players on this hockey club answered the bell after a poor effort in Game 1.

Again, if not for Martin Gerber the Sens might have been blown out of the building in the first half of the game. Gerber was stellar and is providing incredible goaltending for Ottawa. He stopped 50 of 54 shots, many of them gamesavers. At least this game, he got some goal support and his teammates only had 9 missed shots on goal unlike last game when Ottawa missed the net 20 times.

It was a very physical game from start to finish as both teams ended up with 43 hits apiece. I am sure both teams are glad they have 3 days off before Game 3 to heal a few bumps and bruises. Leading the way for Ottawa in the hits category was Mike Commodore with 7 hits and added 2 assists. Schubert continued is fine play with 7 hits as well. Chris Neil elevated his game big time tonight after being nowhere to be found in Game 1. Neil was a presence all night long and fought tooth and nail for his space along the boards. His hardwork paid off in setting up the Sens first goal by Shean Donovan.

Donovan was once again one of the better Sens forwards. His relentless forechecking caused the Pens defense fits at times and he led my example all game long. His goal was a direct result of going to the net. Actually all three Sens goals were a result of mucking it up and crashing the crease which was nice to see.

Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza had better games but both players need to realize you have to finish your check and let Pittsburgh know they are going to pay the price every time they touch the puck. Heatley ened up with one hit while Spezza had no hits on the night. Both players ended up with a -2, this has to stop. Neither are defensively responsible and you have to be more aware at this time of year.

The Sens rookies held their own again tonight. The future looks bright with this crop. Nick Foligno was relentless along the boards creating space for his linemates, he wound up with 4 hits and 2 SOG. Cody Bass did much of the same thing and chipped in with the gametying goal. While Brian Lee was strong in his own end and kept his game simple.

Cory Stillman continues to lead by example registering 7 SOG and scoring a huge PP goal. Vermette had another strong game, 3 SOG, 4 blocked shots and 2 hits. Dean McAmmond was very good tonight and extremely effective carrying the puck through the neutral zone and creating scoring chances for his linemates.

Chris Phillips played with a chip on his shoulder tonight and I am dumbfounded how he didn't end up with any hits on the official stat sheet. He was very physical and was rubbing guys out from the front of the net. The Big Rig elevated his game like we thought he would.

Although Martin Lapointe got nailed with taking a late penalty, leading to the gamewinner, he was very effective all game long. He drove the net and was constantly getting several Pens players to engage with him after the whistle. His physical play was strong as well, 3 hits on the game.

Why does Bryan Murray continue to dress Randy Robitaille? He had less icetime than the rookies and was a non-factor all game long. Which leads me to my next point.

There is a strong chance that Daniel Alfredsson could dress for Game 3 in Ottawa on Monday night. This could go a very long way in extending this series for Ottawa. The Sens finally stepped up tonight and with their MVP and captain back it could be enough to ignite this team. If Ottawa can protect their homeice and send it back to Pittsburgh tied at two games, anything can happen. It's too bad the Sens didn't get more pucks at Marc-Andre Fleury early on when he was fighting the puck.

If you are wondering why I didn't mention Wade Redden in this blog, well it has got to the point that there is nothing worth writing about this guy when he continues to be a no-show for his team and winds up a -2 once again.

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Sorry lost my wireless connection. Huge goal by Cody Bass. Going to the net get you results.

Phillips just misses putting Ottawa ahead for the first time.

Character is coming through for this Sens team, down 3-0 and now they tie it up.

The ice seems to be tilted in the Sens favour. Momentum is on the Sens side and Donovan has been leading the way, yes Donovan, you heard me correctly. Many Sens players have elevated their games tonight. This is what fans have been waiting for. Nice to see. Now Ottawa has to close the deal.
It has been all Gerber for Ottawa to start the 2nd period. Dumb penalty by Phillips. Big PK again for Ottawa.

3 on 1 and not a shot on goal by Ottawa. Just terrible.

The stupid penalty by Phillips on Roberts comes back to haunt Ottawa, Pens score on the PP.

First PP by Ottawa and Fleury steps up making two big saves, one off Spezza that was a gamechanger.

Great one timer by Sykora and Pens up 3-0.

Donovan driving the net gets Ottawa's first goal of the series. Neil worked his butt off along the boards to get free and set him up.

Huge PP goal by Spezza. Good things happen when you go to the net.

Sens being outshot 40 to 19 after 2 periods. Sens outhitting Pitt 37 to 28.

Commodore and Schubert each have 6 hits, Neil has 4 and Volchenkov has 3. Phillips has no hits, that is troubling.

Very good energy to start the game by Ottawa. Pens creating some solid chances too.

Fleury is fighting the puck a bit and if Ottawa was smart they would start throwing more pucks to the net.

Gerber has been very solid once again. Sens are playing the body much more. 15 to 12 hits in favour of Ottawa. Neil is getting in Roberts face which is nice to see.

Big PK coming up for Ottawa.

Stupid play by the Pens not giving the puck up to Ottawa. Pens lost 20 seconds worth of 5 on 3, just really dumb.

Tough break for Ottawa. One second left on the 5 on 3 and the Pens score. Gerber never had a chance. Sens can't allow another goal here on the PP.

Pens outshot the Sens 20 to 8. Sens outhitting Pitt 21 to 16.

It's time for the Sens to leave it all on the ice tonight.


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