Twenty nine seconds.
That’s all that stood in the way of the Ottawa Senators facing a 3-0 deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins, staring elimination in the face Wednesday night.
Instead, thanks to Daniel Alfredsson’s shorthanded goal with only 29 seconds left in the third period and Colin Greening’s double overtime game winner, the Senators have renewed hope. They’re down 2-1 with a chance to even up the series on home ice at Scotiabank Place in Game 4 Wednesday.
Greening was wearing the face of a playoff survivor afterwards, with an ugly welt oozing blood and puss after post-game surgery — “one internal, five external,” he said — after taking a stick in the face at some point earlier in the game.
After they lengthy victory, the talking went on well past midnight.
WHAT THEY SAID
–“You kind of dream of that growing up, playing in your garage or something, picturing yourself scoring an overtime goal like that, but I have to give a lot of credit to (Andre) Benoit and (Erik) Condra on that play.”
–”When it went in, I was just overjoyed. Just given the situation. If they win there, it’s 3-0, now it’s 2-1 with another game at home here. You really put that in perspective.”
–“They were extraordinary circumstances,” he said of his goal with 29 seconds left in regulation. “We had to go for it and then when you get rewarded, you can feel the whole building and the way they erupted.”
–“We would rather be up 4-1 or 5-1, but for some reason we find ourselves in tough situations,” he said of the team’s uncanny ability to pick up wins out of what appear to be lost causes. “We’ve done it enough times, you believe you can do it and that’s the battle half the time.”
–“That happens all the time…in the United Hockey League,” when asked if he has ever seen a shorthanded game-tying playoff goal with the goaltender on the bench and less than 30 seconds remaining. “It was a great play by Milan (Michalek) and (Alfredsson) and Chris Phillips had a big part in it by getting up ice and it shows you have to play the whole game.”
–“You have to believe you belong here, otherwise what the hell are you doing? I can’t stress enough that guys in this room do believe. We just knocked off the second seed (Montreal Canadiens) in the first round. We know we’re facing a pretty talented squad, but having this win kind of builds confidence. Now we know we’re capable of doing it with all the support we’re getting. If we can tie this up (Wednesday), I think it’s anybody’s series.”
–We didn’t know who was going to be the hero, but we definitely had some unexpected guys step up.”
–“We find ways. We’re pesky, I guess. At the end of the game, there’s no other guy I want to have the puck on the stick (than Daniel Alfredsson). He’s clutch, Mr. Clutch, he’s been doing it for years.”
–“We’re building some confidence. We felt like we’re doing some good things in this series and we felt like we were getting rewarded.”
–”The highs and lows in this game are huge and the teams that manage the ups and downs the best are usually the teams that play more consistent. That comes with experience, it comes with guys playing playoff hockey. The momentum swings from shift to shift from period to period from game to game are monumental. We’re still learning.”
3: Colin Greening’s consecutive goal scoring streak
10: Shots on goal by Evgeni Malkin, a game high
5: Shots on goal by Kyle Turris, Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson and Cory Conacher
29: Seconds remaining in regulation when Daniel Alfredsson tied the game
18:40: Jason Spezza ice time
39:48: Erik Karlsson’s ice time, most on either team.
37:16: Paul Martin ice time, most on the Penguins
49: Saves by Craig Anderson
46: Saves by Tomas Vokoun
47: Hits by Senators
36: Hits by Penguins