The Ottawa Senators are still very much alive in the playoff race, thanks to a 4-3 OT victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night. Rookie forward Mark Stone scored with just over two minutes left in overtime to claim the win for the Senators.
Sens “never say die” Attitude
The Penguins silenced the Senator’s home crowd in the first period jumping ahead by three goals. But the Senators came out firing in the second period, peppering Penguins goalie Marc –Andre Fleury with a barrage of shots.
Stone scored late in the second period to cut the deficit to two. That goal sparked the comeback for Ottawa that saw Sidney Crosby and the Penguin’s lead erased. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mike Hoffman scored the other goals for the Senators and Hammond 'the Hamburglar' made 25 saves on the night to seal the deal for Ottawa.
With the win, the Senators move into a tie with the Boston Bruins for one of the final playoff spots. This game was an incredible victory for Ottawa. The team didn’t lose their composure after conceding early and kept the game plan simple.
The Senators outshot Pittsburgh 18-3 in the third period and were rewarded for their efforts. The team’s rookie players continue to excel and contribute under pressure. Stone’s point streak is now extended to seven games. The rookie currently sits second in rookie scoring with 61 points, including 24 goals.
The Battle Continues
But the battle for a playoff spot is far from over for the Senators. Ottawa’s next opponent is against the President’s Trophy winning New York Rangers on Thursday. For the Pittsburgh Penguins all is not lost yet either. The overtime point they claimed against Ottawa gives them 96 points and puts them ahead of Boston and Ottawa for the moment.
Overall, this has been one of the most entertaining playoff races in the Eastern Conference ever. Between Boston, Pittsburgh and Ottawa, the Senators seem to be the underdogs.But if the Senators can continue getting consistent scoring from their top three lines anything can happen.
Regardless, the final two games of the season for these three teams will set up the perfect finale to what has been a very exciting NHL season.