I used to hate playoff overtimes because of the stress. With the added pressure of a blog deadline, the extra frame is now doubly awful. And Thursday night…well, it was a friggin’ nightmare.
Pascal Leclaire (first career playoff start!) stopped 56 shots and Matt Carkner (2 career goals!) scored 7:06 into the third overtime to give the Sens a 4-3 win and send the series back to Ottawa. Game 6 is Saturday at 7:00.
I have to admit that I thought the game, and the series, was over when Sidney Crosby scored at 9:01 of the third period. I was convinced of it, actually. Not only did the goal give the Pens a 3-2 lead, the Sens looked as if they were ready to throw in the towel. Not only had the Pens dominated play for the majority of the second and third periods, Ottawa wasn’t generating any offense whatsoever and was having difficulties getting the puck out of their zone.
But Peter Regin scored just 1:23 after Crosby’s tally (thanks in large part to a bad play by Ruslan Fedotenko at the point) to tie the game and give the Sens a much-needed shot of adrenaline. The rest is unfortunate history. Come back this afternoon for a more in-depth recap. I’m going to bed.