The Senators came home from the Igloo, but couldn’t find shelter from a Pittsburgh storm.
With a convincing 4-2 victory, the Penguins spoiled the party for a capacity crowd of 20,119 at Scotiabank Place. The Penguins lead the quarterfinal series 2-1, with Game 4 here on Tuesday.
“We’ll bounce back,” vowed Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, clearly physically laboring but battling. A Sidney Crosby hit sent him to the dressing room favoring his shoulder, but Alfredsson quipped it was just to “get a pep talk about keeping my head up.”
The Senators were excited about coming home after a split of the first two games in Pittsburgh. And why not. The Sens have been, as the old joke goes about the Buffalo Sabres coach, Ruff at home and Lindy on the road this season. With a record of 26-11-4 in their friendly confines, Ottawa was third best in east on home ice behind only the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils.
Expectant fans had two years to prepare for this moment, having had last year’s playoff season off to rest. And it was these same Penguins who swept an injury-ravaged Senators lineup in April of 2008, so the so-called “red army” had motive and opportunity.