Penguins lead series, 3-2
Ottawa Senators defenseman Matt Carkner scored at 7:06 of the 3rd overtime to give the Senators a 4-3 win Thursday night and force a game 6 in the best-of-seven series.
Mike Fisher caused a Sergei Gonchar neutral zone turnover and Daniel Alfredsson carried the puck in the offensive zone, setting up Carkner at the right point who fired a shot through traffic and past goaltender Marc Andre Fleury for the win.
The goal was Carkner’s first of the postseason as the Senators have new life in the series.
Senators goaltender Pascal LeClaire had a strong game, making 56 saves in the win for Ottawa.
Pittsburgh got off to a slow start as the Senators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on first period goals by Mike Fisher and Jarkko Ruutu.
A timeout by head coach Dan Bylsma jumpstarted the Penguins who got on the board late in the period, when Kris Letang scored a power play goal at the 18:05 mark, for his second goal of the post-season.
Pittsburgh carried momentum into the second period, playing a dominant period and out shooting the Senators 19-5.
Pittsburgh struck again late in the period when Chris Kunitz tied the game up with his second goal of the post-season at 18:35 of the period. Sidney Crosby and Bill Guerin assisted on the play.
Mid-way through the third period, Crosby and the Penguins appeared to be on their way to clinching the series as Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead with 10:59 remaining to play.
The Pittsburgh were unable to hold on and Peter Regin tied it with 9:36 to play. Regin who has been the Senators best forward in the series, continues to be a presence for the Senators in the offensive zone
Jason Spezza also had a solid game for the Senators and added two assists.
Pittsburgh outshot Ottawa 59-44 in the game and both teams combined for 95 hits.
Pittsburgh was the more aggressive team offensively, dictating the tempo of the game but the Senators blocked an impressive 46 shots in the game.
The Penguins were 1-7 on the power play and only 6 shots on goal in seven power play opportunities. Pittsburgh had one power play chance in over-time.
Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury made 40 saves in the loss.
Crosby had a goal and an assist in the game to give him a playoff-high 13 points through 5 games.
Evgeni Malkin added two assists for Pittsburgh.
Game 6 is Saturday night.
Playoff Notes: The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-0 Friday night and eliminated the Devils in five games to advance to the second round.