The game was hard fought, and, in my opinion, the highest quality game of the playoffs so far. Basically, here's how it went: Both teams got a ridiculous amount of scoring chances, and both goaltenders stood on their heads to keep most of them out. The only difference was, Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson allowed one goal, and Pittsburgh's Tomas Vokoun allowed two. Neither goaltender deserved to lose. That being said, Anderson did deserve to win more. He was barraged all night, especially in both of the overtime periods, by quality scoring chances from the Penguins, who have some serious firepower. It was a sight to behold, and Anderson turned in a performance you don't see often in the playoffs.
Late in the second overtime, it looked as though both goalies were brick walls. Thoughts turned to the possibility of a third OT, and an even later Sunday night. But then, after a shot from the point was stopped by Vokoun, Ottawa's speedy Colin Greening got to the rebound before a Penguins defenseman could, and backhanded home the game winner. You can't fault Vokoun. You can only feel sorry for him that his team couldn't do more with an incredible, 47 save performance.
So, heading into Wednesday's game 4 in Ottawa, I think the Penguins, and their fans, have no reason to be worried. After all, we have a 2-1 series lead. Experts and fans alike picked the Pens to win the series in five, six, or maybe seven games, so it is absurd to be too upset. Because after all, you have two lose a game or two to win in five or six. Nobody expected a sweep.
Here is why we shouldn't be too worried.
Last night's game was probably the Penguins' best performance of the playoffs so far. Sometimes there are those nights, where you turn in an incredible performance as a team, and the other team slips away with the win. You have to move on. The Penguins generated scoring chance after scoring chance, tallying 49 shots over 4+ periods of play. The first line, of Crosby, Kunitz, and Dupuis, was absolutely flying out there. Evgeni Malkin looked like he was from another planet. He looked like his old self again, last seen in 2012 and 2009. He was flying through the neutral zone, and creating chaos in the zone with his puck movement, passes, and steals. The fourth line generated some big pressure, which is a good bonus. Anderson was having one of those nights. He wouldn't be beaten
I also really liked the Pens' defense. Ottawa was able to get a reasonable amount of offensive zone time, however, the Penguins seemed to be intercepting all of the cross ice passes and blocking most of the shots from the points. We saw almost none of the carelessness we saw in round 1.
If they play like this on Wednesday, and beyond, things will be just fine.
Here's a video of Greening's game winner in 2OT: