Anton Volchenkov heeded a call from Senators general manager John Muckler and scored his biggest goal of the NHL season to keep Ottawa from the brink of elimination.
The Russian defenceman notched an insurance marker at 8:22 of the third period and added an assist in Ottawa's 5-3 win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.
Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov celebrates after scoring against Anaheim in the second period.
(Chris Carlson/Associated Press)
"Somebody has to take control," Muckler said prior to the game. "I feel we have good leadership, but somebody has to take control of the team and lead the team on the ice."
Game 4 is Monday in Ottawa (CBC, 8 p.m. ET).
Ottawa's checking line of Chris Neil, Antoine Vermette and Chris Kelly had its most productive game of the series, which Anaheim leads 2-1.
"The first two game we didn't have our legs," Kelly told CBC's Scott Oake. "For us to be successful we need to get in the forecheck and in the their zone, and I thought we did better job tonight."
Kelly took care of the forecheck on Volchenkov's goal and Vermette picked up the primary assist, giving the unit a combined four points on the night. The trio also dished out 10 hits.
Mike Fisher, Daniel Alfredsson, Dean McAmmond and Neil also scored for the Senators, while Kelly added two assists.
Scoring for Anaheim was Andy McDonald, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. The line of Getzlaf, Perry and Dustin Penner had six points on the night.
Loudest crowd of the playoffs
The first Stanley Cup final game in Ottawa in 80 years saw the Senators skate out to their loudest crowd of the playoffs thus far.
An aggressive Ottawa outfit looked more energetic than Games 1 and 2, established a strong forecheck and overcame three one-goal deficits.
Encouraging for Ottawa is the fact it prevailed despite the fact the top line of Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Alfredsson was held to one goal after counting two assists in the first two games of the series.
The game became more intense early in the third period after Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger delivered a forearm to the neck area of McAmmond, who left the game with a head injury and didn't return.
The Senators were effective the rest of the period drawing Anaheim into penalties and preventing a comeback.
McAmmond snapped a 3-3 tie late in the second period when his pass to the front of the net deflected off Pronger and past Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
The teams exchanged goals in the first two periods, with Alfredsson tying the game 3-3 with his 11th goal of the 2007 post-season.
It looked as though the Senators' captain might have redirected a Wade Redden point shot into an open net with a kicking motion, but the goal stood after video review.
"I felt it was a goal all along," said Alfredsson, who hadn't recorded a point since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final against Buffalo. "To me, it felt like I never kicked the puck. I never lifted my foot.
"I was confident it was going to be a goal. At the same time you never know, but it felt like a goal."
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle wasn't so sure.
"Obviously the league felt it wasn't kicked in," said Carlyle. "We felt there was a kicking motion. But I haven't really reviewed the replay from a bunch of different angles. They make the call and you have to live with it."
Anaheim scores on power-play
Anaheim entered the game with just one power-play goal in its previous four road contests, but McDonald opened the scoring early in the first period with Redden serving an interference penalty.
After Fisher failed to the clear the puck along the boards, Teemu Selanne skated behind the Ottawa net and threw a pass to McDonald, who beat goalie Ray Emery, who had lost his stick on the play. Emery finished with 19 saves.
Proud Papa Neil, whose wife Caitlin gave birth to daughter Hailey Gene on Friday night, evened the score before the intermission, redirecting a Kelly pass off Giguere's glove and inside the post.
"He [Neil] came in this morning, we knew he didn't get a lot of sleep," Kelly told Oake. "He was on cloud nine, his first girl. For him to score that first goal was definitely big."
Perry and Fisher scored 27 seconds apart in the second period before Ryan Getzlaf, with his team-leading 16th point of these playoffs, gave the Ducks a short-lived 3-2 advantage.
In another development, Chris Kunitz returned to the Anaheim lineup Saturday after missing seven games with a broken right hand. But the left-winger's night ended after 10 shifts when he exited with a lower-body injury.With files from the Canadian Press