Watching a triple-overtime loss is like watching The Passion of the Christ twice back-to-back and not realizing until the final minute of the second viewing that the movie totally sucks.
Still, the Pens totally dominated this game aside from the first ten minutes and most of OT1, finishing with a massive 59-44 edge in shots, and have dominated about 90% of the series since Game Two, a higher percentage than one could reasonably expect from any NHL playoff series, let alone a theoretically close-matched 4-vs-5 matchup. Marc-Andre Fleury posted his best game of the Pens’ entire season, easily, stopping several “well, there’s the game” tap-ins (and getting a little help from Matt Cooke on another sure goal).
Comparing this game to the Pens’ infamous multiple-OT loss to the Flyers or their Petr Nedved win against the Capitals and the results in those series is nonsensical; not only are these totally different players we’re talking about, but it’s also a totally different situation than the Keith Primeau series, which was 2-2 and heading back to Philly after the overtime backbreaker (plus Game 6 of that series was really close, it’s not like the Pens just folded after losing the OT game, even though it’s convenient to simplify the situation in retrospect by saying they lost because they were emotionally devastated.)
Also, Peter Regin is totally the new ’09 Claude Giroux — the dude had 29 points in 75 games this season, and now he’s by far the most dominant offensive player on the Senators, totally eclipsing the anonymous performance Daniel Alfredsson has turned in with his apparently unstoppable-from-50-feet shot. Let’s cover him! [Spoken in patronizing talking-to-puppy voice]
Not to jinx anything, but it’s almost inconceivable to imagine the Penguins blowing this series. You can’t view a 3-2 series as though Ottawa is still trying to dig out of a 3-1 hole, that’s mathematically flawed, but with the way the Pens have asserted themselves in this series when they’ve had to, I think they’ll put this thing away in Canada’s capital Saturday night. I’m gonna miss the game cause I’m doing a show, which actually might be good — either they win, and I’m glad it’s done with, or they lose and I will have saved myself hours of precious swearing breath. It’s win-win! (But seriously, win Saturday.)