May 20, 2013, 1:28 AM EDT
They were so close.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had a one-goal lead and, thanks to an Erik Karlsson slashing penalty, a power play with 1:27 remaining in the third period. All they had to do was hold on, and the Penguins would’ve secured a 3-0 series lead over the Ottawa Senators.
Alfredsson, who was left all alone to go to the front of the net, one-timed home a beautiful pass from Milan Michalek.
I was sitting in the penalty box feeling pretty sad,” Karlsson told NHL Network, as per NHL.com.
“But that’s why he’s our captain. He really went hard to the net and in the end he was all alone and he made a great play and he put it behind them.”
The Senators would later win Game 3 in double overtime, cutting Pittsburgh’s series lead to 2-1.
A lead – even if it was of the slim, one-goal variety – and a late-game power play for the Eastern Conference’s top regular season team should’ve been enough for the Penguins to close this one out. Right? Wrong.
“We had two defensemen on the ice, and we were thinking about halfway through a change with the forward line,” Penguins’ head coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“They had their goalie pulled, so it was five skaters apiece. It’s a situation where they were able to make a play that created a big gap in our group.”
- Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’ 34
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 45
- Fanspeak: Clarke voted greatest Flyer in franchise history 31
- Different tune: Moore hasn’t settled with Bertuzzi, says brother 26
- Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes 25
- Kovalev compares Subban to Leetch, says he isn’t worth the money 49
- Under pressure: Rick Nash 9
- Wang sells Isles to ex-Caps owner Ledecky 41
- Report: MLSE CEO Leiweke to step down (Update: Leiweke denies move) 6
- Report: Bertuzzi-Moore case settled out of court (Update: Bertuzzi’s lawyer confirms) 35