Penguins' power play goes dim


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OTTAWA -- The Penguins' power play has led the way for much of this postseason.

It came up empty Sunday night in Game 3.

The Penguins went 0 for 6 on the power play against Ottawa at Scotiabank Place, failed to convert on a 5-on-3 situation and then allowed a backbreaking short-handed goal with 31 seconds left in regulation that led to overtime and a 2-1 loss in the second overtime.

"It's frustrating. I thought the chances were there. We either missed the net or the puck bounced on us, or the goalie made a save," Sidney Crosby said. "That's hockey. It's a tight game and you expect everyone to be at their best this time of year. So we've got to find a way to execute that."

The Penguins had scored on 3 of 10 power-play chances in the series heading into the game, and it was the difference in Game 1.

"We have a lot of pride in that in trying to be the difference in the game. It wasn't a lack of effort or lack of chances," Crosby said. "It happens and I'm confident [that if] we get those same chances every game, they're going to go in."

In the second overtime Matt Cooke drew a penalty that sent defenseman Chris Phillips to the penalty box at 1:56.

The power-play unit of Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang and Paul Martin moved the puck well, but did not convert.

"Having six power plays and a 5-on-3 [situation] we weren't able to capitalize on was a big factor in the game," coach Dan Bylsma said. "In the end, they get the short-handed goal to win special teams with that goal. But there was a lot of battle in that game, a lot of great play from the team. We came out on the short end there in a double-overtime game."

Same story in a sequence to start the second period that was particularly notable.

Malkin was tripped by Marc Methot on a breakaway with three seconds left in the first period, and the Penguins had almost a full-length power play to start the second period.

Crosby took a feed and split two defensemen before his shot was denied by goalie Craig Anderson 18 seconds into the period.

The penalty wasn't over yet when Ottawa was whistled for too many men and the Penguins had a 5-on-3 situation for 58 seconds.

Malkin's slap shot at 1:23 of the period was smothered by Anderson.

It was, said the Penguins players, just one of those games.

"I think our power play has been so good for so long. The last month of the season and first round of the playoffs, the power play has been great," center Brandon Sutter said. "[Sunday night] they didn't get any but still had some good looks and a lot of chances."

Malkin and Crosby eclipsed 10 minutes apiece of power-play time, Crosby with 10:09 and Malkin with 10:05.

The Senators also failed to capitalize on the man-advantage, going 0 for 3, but they did score the tying goal short-handed on that key sequence that sent the game to overtime and shifted the series.

"It shows you've got to play the whole game," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "I'd love to say we drew it up that way. ... Being short-handed, there's not so many things you can draw up."

Anderson said the key to his team's penalty-kill was getting the puck down.

"We were able to get the puck down. When we were able to get the puck on our stick, we were able to clear it 200 feet and clear some pressure and get some fresh guys," Anderson said.

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Jenn Menendez: jmenendez@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez. First Published May 20, 2013 5:00 AM


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