Once again, a Game 3 at Scotiabank Place proved to be memorable for Ottawa Senators fans.
In the last round, the Senators’ 6-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens was one of the most definitive wins on home ice in franchise history. And on Sunday night, Ottawa had another Game 3 for the ages with a thrilling double-overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here’s a look at 10 interesting notes and statistics that emerged from the latest Game 3 win for the Senators.
1. Mac Attack
We shouldn’t be too surprised the Senators won Game 3 on Sunday night, because they’ve never lost a playoff overtime game with Paul MacLean behind the bench. The Sens are now a perfect 4-0 in extra time under MacLean in the post-season, beating the Rangers twice last season and the Canadiens and Penguins this spring.
2. Captain clutch
The Senators are now 4-1 in their franchise history when playing Game 3 on home ice and trailing 2-0 in a series. Daniel Alfredsson has scored a goal in four of those must-win victories at Scotiabank Place.
3. Captain continued
This was actually the second time in Daniel Alfredsson’s career that he scored a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation time in the playoffs. But Sunday’s conclusion provided a much happier ending than the previous instance that back on April 16, 2001. In that Game 3 against the Maple Leafs, Alfredsson tied the game in the final minute at the Air Canada Centre — but left the ice disappointed when Cory Cross scored the overtime winner for the Maple Leafs.
4. Three’s a charm for Greening
For the first time in his NHL career, Colin Greening has scored a goal in three straight playoff games. Greening is the first Ottawa player to score a goal in each of the first three games of a playoff series since Daniel Alfredsson scored in Games 1-3 of the Eastern Conference final against the Buffalo Sabres in 2007.
5. Dandy Andy
Craig Anderson’s 49-save performance in Game 3 might have been his best in a Senators jersey, but he came up short of setting a couple of records. Pascal Leclaire still holds the franchise record for most saves in a playoff win for stopping 56 shots in a triple overtime win at Pittsburgh in 2010. And Anderson fell just shy of his personal best of 51 saves in a playoff game. That came on April 18, 2010, when he blanked the San Jose Sharks 1-0 in an overtime victory for the Colorado Avalanche.
6. King Karlsson
Speaking of just missing milestones, Erik Karlsson needed only 12 more seconds of ice time to hit the 40-minute mark in Game 3. Karlsson has reached that point only once in his career, when he logged 40:38 in the triple-OT win at Pittsburgh. Only two other Sens defencemen have surpassed the 40-minute mark in a playoff game and they did it during a triple-overtime loss at Toronto in 2002, when Zdeno Chara (44:19) and Wade Redden (44:04) accomplished the feat.
7. Save the date
When the Senators are trying to schedule playoff dates in the future, they should always push to play on May 19. The team is a perfect 3-0 on that date — three of the most memorable victories in franchise history. On May 19, 2003, Jason Spezza made his NHL playoff debut and helped the Sens stave off elimination with a goal and an assist against the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Then on May 19, 2007, Daniel Alfredsson scored the most important goal in franchise history, sending the Senators to the Stanley Cup Final with an overtime goal in Buffalo. Add in Sunday’s dramatics at Scotiabank Place and you’ll see why the Senators should be circling this date on the calendar.
8. Home sweet home
The Senators are now riding a three-game winning streak at Scotiabank Place during the playoffs. And while that might appear to be modest, it’s only the fifth time they’ve done this during a single playoff year. If Ottawa can win Game 4 on Wednesday night, they’ll tie the franchise record for a home winning streak in the playoffs that was set in both 1998 and 2007.
9. No lead, no problem
The Senators have yet to own the lead at any point during this series against Pittsburgh. In sharp contrast, the Penguins have been ahead on the scoreboard for a cumulative 124:45 of game action. This is eerily reminiscent of last year’s playoff series against the Rangers, when the Senators also never held the lead at any point — yet were tied 2-2 after four games.
10. Pens write a different story
When Colin Greening pushed the puck past Tomas Vokoun for the game-winning goal, it marked the first time all season the Penguins had lost a game in extra time. Pittsburgh had been the only NHL team to have an unblemished record in overtime or a shootout. And maybe there was a little irony that the Penguins lost the game in the 87th minute.