Penguins Defeat Senators in Six: Five Moments That Shaped the Series
Anyone else having déjà vu right about now?
Much like the start of last season's playoff, the Pittsburgh Penguins polished off their first opponent in six games, on the road, after coming back from a three-goal deficit in the deciding game.
While it was Pascal Dupuis's ripper in the first overtime period of game six that sealed the deal for the Pens, there are always a multitude of moments that shape how a series turns out.
Here are five moments from the Pittsburgh-Ottawa series that lifted the Penguins to victory.
Game 1 - Losing
Here's a nice wake-up call to the defending Stanley Cup Champions: lose your first home playoff game of the 2010 playoff season.
Maybe the Pens thought they could coast through the first round and the depleted Ottawa Senators. If they did, that notion certainly didn't last long.
Ottawa came in to Mellon Arena looking to prove to everyone they were not to be looked over.
And they did.
Unfortunately for them, that victory woke the Penguins up, as well. And with a fired up, talented Penguins team, Ottawa was not able to keep up in a seven-game series.
Game 2 - Sidney Crosby Completes His Unorthodox Hat-Trick
In a team's greatest moment of need, they must be able to rely on their stars to shine.
There is no question who shines the brightest when Pittsburgh's back is up against the wall.
In Game 2, Sidney Crosby did it all. After responding to an early Senators' goal with one of his own, he went on to save a puck heading for the goal-line behind Marc-Andre Fleury.
Then late in the third period, he put on a show.
In an amazing display of quickness, strength, and determination, Sidney Crosby skated back and forth behind the net, staving off the tightly-checking Jason Spezza, and eventually set up Kris Letang for the game-winning goal.
If the Penguins would've lost the first two games and went into Ottawa down 2-0 who knows how the rest of the series would have played out.
But thanks to Sidney Crosby's refusal to lose, we'll never know.
Game 3 - Alexei Ponikarovsky's Early Goal
The importance of taking the home crowd out of a game early is well known by all.
After splitting the first two games in Pittsburgh--two games in which they played very well--the Senators came back to Ottawa feeling confident about their chances.
The atmosphere at Scotiabank Place was electric, but short lived.
Just 1:17 into the game, Alexei Ponikarovsky wired a shot that slipped under the pads of then starting goalie, Brian Elliott.
The goal rendered the Ottawa faithful silent, as "cheeks found seats" and the Pens succeeded in taking the crowd out of the game early.
Game 4 - Maxime Talbot's Short-Handed Goal
The Penguins came out in Game 4 and took complete control. After Sidney Crosby's second goal of the game, Pittsburgh took a commanding 4-0 lead in the second period.
While most were counting the Senators out (including Pittsburgh's very own color commentator, Bob Errey) they quickly responded and came back to make the game 4-2, still in the second period.
The Senator's power-play had been clicking all series and had a chance to make it 4-3 and cause an eruption of Scotiabank Place. But it wasn't the Senators who scored on that given power-play.
It was Pittsburgh's Maxime Talbot.
Talbot directed a beautiful Craig Adams' saucer pass behind Brian Elliott, extending the Penguins' lead to 5-2 and putting the game well out of reach for the Senators.
Ottawa would go on to make it 5-3, but didn't have enough to mount the full comeback.
Game 6 - Officials Call Back Mike Fisher's Goal
The Senators came out in the deciding Game 6 looking to push the series to seven games.
And early on it looked like they would.
Ottawa took a dominant 3-0 lead over the Pens after Daniel Alfredsson put a wrist shot past a sliding Marc-Andre Fleury.
After Penguins' winger Matt Cooke scored to put the game at 3-1, Mike Fisher tallied what looked to be the Senators' fourth goal of the game.
Despite being called a goal on the ice, further review showed that the goal had come off its moorings before the puck crossed the line and the goal was called back.
Going down 4-1 would have been demoralizing for the Pens.
Instead, Pittsburgh would go on to score two goals in the third period to force an overtime and with one Pascal Dupuis' wrister in the first overtime period, the Pens marched on to round two.