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

18 Mai 2017

Methot made it 2-0 at 10:34, taking a short pass from Bobby Ryan at the side of the net, then banging home his own rebound after his initial shot was stopped.

Ready for playoff hockey?

A series of unlikely and weird events can conspire to lead a largely unheralded team to a surprising Stanley Cup title.

"Do we have some exchanges on the bench?" We've got to be playing on our toes.

This was all very charming to watch from afar, as they're not my bones an angry Kessel wants to grind to make his bread.

How much Kesler has gotten under Johansen's skin and whether the 32-year-old veteran can shake the anchor of Nashville's top line remains to be seen.

Nicole had entered Butler Memorial Hospital at 8 a.m. Mother's Day, the day before the game, and waited seven hours before giving birth to a baby boy they have named Kessel. They get it. They understand it.

"We were right there", Anderson said.

"I haven't even given any consideration to that at this point". I think that's how we make progress.

There were times when it seemed Ottawa was content to defend because Pittsburgh wasn't attacking the net, instead of just moving the puck around, but the more zone time the Penguins had, the more they appeared to wear out the Senators.

"It wasn't like we gave up a lot of scoring chances". And we said it when Murray went down.

To close out Round 2 against the Capitals, the power play went 0 for 2 in the series-clinching Game 7 win and 0 for 3 in the Game 6 shellacking that sent the series back to Washington for Game 7. That team rallied. That team also had Kris Letang.

Matt Murray replaced Fleury and saw his first action in the 2017 playoffs.

That was the prevailing sentiment in the losing room.

Ottawa had a chance to tie it up late, on a last minute flurry with Craig Anderson on the bench, but Penguins shot-blockers were in full force and kept the barrage at bay.

Turns out, for the Ottawa Senators, 1-3-1 does indeed equal five.

No. The Penguins believe they lost because they weren't ready and didn't exert the effort. It's about how we played. I'm not going to compare Phil Kessel with Tom Brady but that's the only other player I can think that can go off on the sideline and everyone is cool with it. It works well. It gets [Kessel] into the game. We've got to know what we are, and we've got to know what we're able to do. We didn't win battles. You have to earn your space. So I think we've got to be ready right from the drop of the puck, and we simply have to be better. We didn't have that.

The inflated 5-1 final score was a shocker, but themes are bubbling to the surface. "(The first shot) got blocked, and I just tried to get it off quick, and it went in". They've benefitted wildly from terrific goaltending. The chorus has grown so loud over the last month, tuning it out simply wasn't an option no matter how many one-goal victories they pulled off in the playoffs.

"It can be frustrating".

Clarke MacArthur said before Game 3 that the Senators were blowing a big opportunity by not hammering a Penguins defence which was asking players such as Ron Hainsey, Chad Ruhwedel and Ian Cole to play significantly larger roles than they're accustomed.

"And I don't say that in a bad way", said Scott Gordon, who was part of the Toronto Maple Leafs' staff that coached Kessel for three years. They'll live or die by them.

“Weve got some chemistry, ” said Ryan, who leads Senators forwards with 11 playoff points. It was Crosby's first point of the series. Undaunted, they swore to remain true to Boucher's system, while making a few adjustments to create more offense.

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