Penguins rally, eliminate Senators
Pavelski, San Jose oust Avalanche
Even with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin held in check, the Pittsburgh Penguins scored four unanswered goals and moved into the second round of the playoffs with a huge comeback win.
Pascal Dupuis scored 9:56 into overtime for Pittsburgh, which erased a three-goal deficit and eliminated the Senators from the playoffs with a 4-3 victory in Game 6 last night in Ottawa. The Penguins won the series, 4-2.
The Senators led, 3-0, in the second period and appeared to go up 4-1 in the frame, but lost a goal to video replay when it was determined the puck crossed the line after the net was knocked off its moorings.
Matt Cooke scored his second of the game with 7:36 left in regulation to tie it at 3. Bill Guerin had a power-play goal earlier in the third, a period in which Pittsburgh held an 18-4 shots advantage.
With Crosby held off the score sheet and Malkin limited to one assist, the Penguins got their offense from the rest of the lineup.
“It says a lot,’’ said Crosby, who recorded 14 points through the first five games. “We’re going to do our best to create things, but there are going to be nights where it’s tougher than others.
“Some nights it may not go in, or whatever the case is, but we’ve still got to do things out there. We’ve still got to be productive, whether it’s not on the score sheet. We’ve got to be responsible out there and find ways to help, but certainly there are other guys who can step up and score those goals like we saw tonight.’’
Matt Cullen and Daniel Alfredsson each had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, which won Game 5 at Pittsburgh in triple overtime to stave off elimination.
Dupuis made sure a return trip wouldn’t be necessary. He took Jordan Staal’s pass from the left corner and fired a shot past Pascal Leclaire for the winner.
“Jordan made an unbelievable play there in the corner, beat one guy,’’ Dupuis said.
“I thought he was going to give it to me right away. He’s strong enough that he decided to beat another one by himself and he slid it to me there. I’m still not sure where the puck went.’’
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 shots for the Penguins, who won for the eighth time in nine playoff series after they were eliminated by Ottawa in five games in the first round in 2007.
Sharks 5, Avalanche 2 — Joe Pavelski scored two goals, including the tiebreaking tally midway through the third period, to lift visiting San Jose to a series-clinching win over Colorado.
Pavelski and Dan Boyle scored 1:29 apart in the final period, and Devin Setoguchi and Douglas Murray added empty-net goals in the final minute as San Jose won the series, 4-2.
Marek Svatos and Brandon Yip had goals for eighth-seeded Colorado.
Pavelski gave San Jose the lead 47 seconds into the game, but Svatos tied it in the second period.
Yip then gave Colorado a brief lead, but Boyle made it 2-2 with a slap shot over Anderson’s glove. Moments later, Pavelski scored the winner.
Evgeni Nabokov was steady in net all night, but not very busy as he stopped just 16 shots.
Blackhawks 5, Predators 4 — Patrick Kane’s shorthanded goal tied the game with 13.6 seconds left in regulation and Marian Hossa came out of the penalty box to score the winner 4:07 into overtime as Chicago won in Nashville to take a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.
Chicago can advance in the Western Conference playoffs with a win at Nashville tomorrow night. The Blackhawks blew a 3-1 lead, and the Predators went ahead, 4-3, with two third-period goals by Martin Erat.
With Nashville protecting its lead late and on a major power play created by Hossa’s boarding penalty against defenseman Dan Hamhuis, Kane backhanded in a rebound off a shot by Jonathan Toews to tie it with his third goal of the series. Although the Blackhawks were shorthanded, they negated Nashville’s skating advantage by pulling goalie Antti Niemi.
Hossa hit the ice after his penalty expired and put himself in position to win the game. He got the puck on the left side of the net after a shot from teammate Brent Sopel deflected to him off the stick of Nashville’s Joel Ward. Hossa then slid a shot past goalie Pekka Rinne for his second career postseason overtime goal.