Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senators Get Lead, Fall Apart

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senators Get Lead, Fall Apart

Article excerpt

OTTAWA -- For days, the Ottawa Senators have talked about getting the lead.

They finally got one. Holding onto it was another story.

A thorough, 7-3 victory by the Penguins sends the series back to Consol Energy Center where the home team, up three games to one, will have a chance to clinch, and where the Senators' pesky ways will be put to their sternest test.

Players like to say that each playoff series takes on a life of its own, with ebbs and flows, huge swings in momentum that can end as abruptly as they begin. The Senators hoped a miraculous comeback to win Game 3 would create some doubt before Game 4. Apparently not. The Penguins rebounded with a champion's resolve.

It was short-handed that the Senators finally secured their first regulation lead of the series, 21/2 minutes into Game 4 when Milan Michalek split the defense and chipped a shot over the glove hand of Tomas Vokoun.

It was a work of art, and a burst not often seen from Michalek and his aching knee, but, when he saw the wide gulf between Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, Michalek reached deep within and summoned something out of a healthier past to explode between the two Penguins and get in alone on Vokoun. Malkin had been playing the point, and seeing him victimized had to cause a new headache for Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, suddenly worried about the defensive deficiencies of his once potent power play.

One shot for the Senators. One goal. It was going to be a good night, wasn't it? Appeared so, even after a tying goal by James Neal a few minutes after Michalek's.

Vokoun, while he's a game battler, leaves precious minerals lying around his goal crease, and the Senators mined one before the first period was out to restore their one-goal lead.

Kyle Turris picked up the nugget of gold after a Jakob Silfverberg backhand shot was left lying there. And there could have been more.

In the dying seconds of the first, Colin Greening tried to extend his goal-scoring streak to four games, but his shot sailed wide. …

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