Pascal Dupuis’ overtime goal clinched the Penguins the series as they eliminated the Ottawa Senators from the playoffs.
Dupuis beat Pascal Leclaire with a wrist shot over his glove, clinching Pittsburgh a birth in the second round.
Matt Cooke had two goals in the game including the game tying goal with eight minutes left in the third.
Pittsburgh was down 3-0, but rallied to score four unanswered, two in the third, to give them the win.
“We get down 3-0, but we draw on the experience of last game and last year and stuck with it and did the things that we needed to do and stayed confident,” Cooke told TSN. “This is a different year and you still have to go out and accomplish it again.”
Providing the Capitals beat the Canadiens, Pittsburgh will now face the winner of the Boston and Buffalo series.
Pittsburgh won the game without the production of Sidney Crosby as he was held pointless and was a minus-3 in the game.
“We’ve got to be responsible out there,” Crosby told TSN.
Pittsburgh admitted they were pretty happy the series wasn’t pushed the extra game as they now have a chance to rest up for the second round.
Home-ice was not a factor in the series, as Pittsburgh won only one of the three games at Mellon Arena. Last year, Pittsburgh closed out all their series’ on the road and thus far that trend remains intact.
Marc-Andre Fleury, who did not have his best series, was impressed with Pittsburgh’s durability after being down by so much.
“I think with the team that we have we can’t quit,” Fleury said to TSN. “No matter what the score is we have some good players in this room and we always have got to believe that we can come back and we did a good job tonight.”
The bright spot to the series was the emergence of Pittsburgh’s power play as they scored seven goals with the man-advantage.
On the contrary, the penalty kill was abysmal against a team that does not have a good power play. Fleury’s play may have played a part in that but Pittsburgh will need to improve their short-handed play for the next round.
Pittsburgh’s matches up with both Boston and Buffalo fairly well as their defensive systems will likely be no match for the fire power and defending ability of the Pens.
Either way, Pittsburgh can now sit back and watch the rest of the teams beat up on each other, as they wait to find out who they will play next round.
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Written by Amit Mann