The Ottawa Senators refuse to go quietly into an early off-season. They are still alive in the Stanley Cup playoff race.
Of course, it didn’t look like that would be the case earlier in the evening on Tuesday, as they fell behind the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins by three goals after the first period. Sidney Crosby scored just 10 seconds into the game. An ominous sign of things to come, perhaps, for the Senators, who were fighting for their season on home ice.
All the Penguins — struggling mightily of late — needed to clinch a playoff berth was a regulation win over Ottawa and that looked to be a sure thing after 20 minutes.
Cue the Senators’ comeback.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau got it started with a short-handed goal in the second period. Mark Stone, who is enjoying a remarkable second half of his rookie season, finished it in overtime with his 24th goal of the season to give the Senators a 4-3 victory and two points to keep their playoff hopes alive.
It won’t get any easier for the Senators, who moved to 95 points, which puts them level with the Boston Bruins, who hold the final Wild Card spot in the East.
Ottawa is now one point back of the Penguins and two back of the Detroit Red Wings, who were victorious over Carolina.
The Senators play the New York Rangers, the newly crowned Presidents’ Trophy winners, on Thursday and the Philadelphia Flyers to conclude the season on Saturday.
The Detroit Red Wings, despite a win over Carolina, did not clinch a playoff spot due to the result in Ottawa.