When it was all said and done on Sunday, the Ottawa Senators came from behind to stun the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins in double overtime, 2-1.
As expected, the first period of play was physical. There were three power plays off penalties in the first 20 minutes.
The Senators' Chris Phillips was given two minutes for holding Tyler Kennedy 6:26 into the game, but Pittsburgh wasn't able to capitalize.
The Penguins' Tanner Glass got two minutes for slashing against Jason Spezza at the 16:31 mark, but the Senators managed only one shot on goal during the power play.
Ottawa's Marc Methot was called for tripping Evgeni Malkin with just three seconds remaining in the period. Kris Letang's shot was blocked by Phillips with one second to go. The score was 0-0 at the first intermission.
Andi Petrillo of CBSSports.ca/hockey tweeted after the first period:
I don't agree that more goals make a game more exciting. Senators and Penguins great example of that right now. Great pace, great saves 0-0— Andi Petrillo (@andipHNIC) May 20, 2013
In the first period, the Penguins registered 12 shots on goal, exemplifying the threat the team posed in the first 20 minutes of action. Malkin and Letang posted three shots apiece.
You had to admire Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson in this regard, as he kept the Penguins scoreless in the opening frame. Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson was also important, blocking three shots early on.
Spezza's return clearly made the Penguins more dangerous, as Mike Colligan of Forbes.com noted:
The second period got more physical, with four power plays spread between the two teams.
It started with the Senators having too many men on the ice and continued with Ottawa's Zack Smith roughing Malkin. At the 8:31 mark, the Penguins' Sidney Crosby was whistled for high-sticking Jared Cowen.
At the 11:25 mark, Pittsburgh's Douglas Murray received two minutes for holding Karlsson, who received two minutes for diving. Murray's penalty was served by Jarome Iginla.
Interestingly enough, no goals were scored during this time. The Penguins finally got on the board at the 18:53 mark when Tyler Kennedy connected on a 30-foot wrist shot, assisted by Matt Cooke.
It was redemption for Kennedy, who took his fair share of abuse from fans during the regular season.
Stand-up comedian Bill Crawford tweeted:
Tyler Kennedy is just a great story. Player who took lion share of Fanimosity this year ends up being Mr. Playoffs. #FanimosityCopyright— Bill Crawford (@dveBillCrawford) May 20, 2013
After two periods, the Penguins were up, 1-0.
Thomas Drance of CanucksArmy.com wrote on Twitter:
7 scoring chances for the Penguins in the second period, 6 for Ottawa. Senators controlled the even-strength battle 5-3 though.— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) May 20, 2013
Through six minutes in the third period, Pittsburgh was still holding a 1-0. The presence of goaltenders Tomas Vokoun and Craig Anderson were clear.
TheCover4.com tweeted at the juncture:
6 minutes into the third and the Penguins continue to lead the Senators 1-0. Has been a great game so far, both goalies playing very well— TheCover4 (@TheCover4) May 20, 2013
At the 8:55 mark, Chris Neil had a shot at tying the game off a rebound from point-blank range, but Vokoun made another brilliant save, sticking his right leg out to trap the puck.
But inside 30 seconds to play, Ottawa struck in dramatic fashion. Interestingly enough, it came on a Penguins power play. After Karlsson was called for slashing at 18:33, Daniel Alfredsson's shot found the net, setting up overtime.
Ron Musselman of Muscle Media LLC in Pittsburgh tweeted:
Daniel Alfredsson, who had done absolutely nothing the entire series except look old, scored his 50th career postseason goal to force OT.— Ron Musselman (@ronmusselman8) May 20, 2013
Pittsburgh had a power play to start overtime, but wasn't able to convert on two long shots on goal by Letang.
Both teams battled back and forth, creating numerous scoring chances, but the play of Anderson and Vokoun was simply exemplary. After the first overtime, both teams were still tied despite getting off 87 shots on goal.
Rob Metzger of WTOV9 Steubenville tweeted during the thrilling affair:
Pittsburgh received a power play at the 18:04 mark of the second overtime when Phillips was given two minutes for holding Cooke. But it wasn't able to capitalize.
Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen was given two minutes for tripping minutes later, but the Senators weren't able to score on the power play.
Then, to cap a dramatic comeback, the Senators scored at the 7:39 mark when Colin Greening scored off assists from Andre Benoit and Erik Condra.
Anderson ceded just one goal in 50 Pittsburgh attempts. Vokoun ended up saving 46 of Ottawa's 48 shots on goal.
Pittsburgh holds a 2-1 series lead.