The Ottawa Senators were outworked, outplayed, but not outlasted thanks to an outstanding goaltending performance by Craig Anderson in a 2-1 double overtime victory.
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Colin Greening knocked in a rebound more than seven minutes into the second overtime period as the Senators won the longest game of the playoffs so far this year.
The goal was Greening's third in the series as he's scored in each game. It also came with pieces of fibreglass still lodged in his left cheek from a errant stick in the second period.
"You enjoy it until your head hits the pillow," Greening told Ottawa media after midnight, and after spending several minutes with medical staff.
The Pittsburgh Penguins now lead the series, 2-1.
Anderson made 49 saves in the win just two days after some people doubted he should even start Game 3. He was pulled during the second period of Game 2 and had given up seven goals in the first two games of the series.
Late goal sends game to OT
The game almost didn’t even reach overtime.
For the second time in these playoffs, the Senators tied the game in the dying seconds when their captain, Daniel Alfredsson, scored with just 29 seconds left. The goal was even more clutch considering the Senators were short-handed.
The Penguins were able to shut down Ottawa for much of the game with the help of timely saves from goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
They came out of the game hard and fast again but Anderson, whose face was splashed on the fans' rally towels for Game 3, denied the visitors again and again.
The Senators also killed off all six Penguins power-plays in the game, including two in overtime and a minute-long two-man advantage early in the second period.
But the work of two Senators killers late in the second forced a defensive breakdown. Matt Cooke created a turnover in Ottawa's zone before setting up Tyler Kennedy, who beat Anderson high glove side.
That goal looked to be all the Penguins needed as they shut the door for most of the third period. But as the Senators looked like dead ducks, Alfredsson snuck in behind the Penguins defence to re-direct a Milan Michalek shot over Vokoun’s glove.
Anderson, Karlsson bounce back in Game 3
Anderson and Erik Karlsson both bounced back for the Senators, looking more confident than in the previous two games.
Karlsson played more than any other player on either team, almost 40 minutes of ice time, just two days after playing just more than 15 minutes in Game 2. He said he felt better and it showed, as his decisions were quicker and more definitive even if they sometimes led to mistakes.
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Karlsson and the Senators did seem to wear down as the game went deeper into the night but Anderson was there to bail them out.
The come-from-behind victory overshadowed a long-awaited and much anticipated return of the Senators' top scorer, Jason Spezza. He provided a boost but he also admitted after the game his energy began to dwindle as the game extended into the night.
Spezza was playing in his first game since Jan. 27 after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back.
The Senators are now 3-0 on home ice in these playoffs.
The teams now have two full days between games, once again, as Game 4 goes Wednesday in Ottawa.